Britain’s next prime minister is famous in Westminster for not cultivating ties with the country’s media elite, as this Politico piece from a few days back reveals.

“It goes against conventional Westminster thinking, but [Theresa] May’s lack of close ties to the media elite is actually an asset at a time when the public is fed up with the London establishment, MPs who support her bid for the Conservative leadership said …

“In stark contrast to others who have aspired to the highest office in British politics in recent years — Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove — she has given little effort to building alliances in the press.

“Some of her colleagues have spent countless hours briefing friendly columnists, socializing with editors, trading gossip over lunch with proprietors. Blair became godfather to one of Murdoch’s children. Cameron had country suppers with Rebekah Brooks, the chief of Murdoch’s News UK. Johnson holidayed in Italy with Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev. Gove spent weekends with the Daily Mail’s owner Lord Rothermere.

“For May, courting the media has simply not been a priority.”

Despite a lack of deep links with the media class, May secured the support of the Daily Mail‘s influential editor Paul Dacre. He’s described in the piece as a “huge admirer” of hers.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey