On 21 December Sunak had a dinner with Murdoch. The meeting’s purpose? “To discuss the PM’s priorities.” They were joined by other senior figure’s from Murdoch’s media businesses: Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, Rebekah Brooks, head of News UK, and the editors of the Times (Tony Gallagher), Sunday Times (Emma Tucker, who has since taken charge of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal) and the Sun (Victoria Newton).
During his first few months in the job Sunak also met journalists and executives from Channel 4, the Spectator, the Daily Mail, ITV, the BBC and the Daily Telegraph.
For the Chatterer, however, the standout fact from the transparency data concerned Liz Truss, whose meetings as prime minister were also disclosed. It took Truss less than two weeks to meet Thomson, the News Corp chief, to “discuss the priorities of the new government”. She also recorded meetings with several senior editors and journalists at the Tory party conference.
But, it seems, Truss was not in office long enough to score a meeting with Murdoch. So, using data compiled last year by Press Gazette and adding on recent disclosures, the scores for recent Tory PM meetings with Murdoch stand at: Boris Johnson – 6; David Cameron – 3; Theresa May – 1; Rishi Sunak – 1 (and counting); Liz Truss – 0.
A badge of honour for Truss? Perhaps. But she might not see it that way.