What happened to Cameron's monthly press conferences?

Nick Clegg started a new monthly press conference today but Cameron hasn't held one since July 2011.

Nick Clegg has just finished the first of what we are promised will be a series of regular monthly press conferences. But while the Deputy PM seems ever keener to expose himself to scrutiny (he already hosts the weekly "Call Clegg" on LBC), in his own version of Tony Blair's "masochism strategy", David Cameron is proving more evasive. 

After entering Downing Street, Cameron continued to hold a monthly press conference, as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did, but they became increasingly rare and it's now nearly two years since one was last held (on 8 July 2011); the hastily-arranged conference on Leveson in March doesn't really count. Journalists were given precisely half an hour's notice. 

So, could Clegg's openness encourage the PM to think again? It seems unlikely. When I spoke to Downing Street earlier, a spokesman simply replied that Cameron "regularly talks to the media".

David Cameron, pictured at his most recent Downing Street press conference on 8 July 2011. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.