BORIS Johnson is on the hunt for a US-style press secretary to front new televised daily briefings.

In a job advert posted online yesterday, Downing Street said this would be “a political role” and the successful candidate would be expected to “represent the Government and the Prime Minister to an audience of millions on a daily basis, across the main broadcast channels and social media”.

That person would “speak directly to the public on the issues they care most about, explaining the Government’s position, reassuring people that we are taking action on their priorities and driving positive changes”.

Downing Street says the demands of the post are “high” and that it is seeking an “experienced and confident media operator who would enjoy working on camera and with senior ministers, political advisers, officials and journalists”.

Reports suggest that whoever takes on the task will be paid around £100,000 a year.

However, one TV insider told The National they weren’t sure if any of the big names in journalism would be interested, given the relatively low salary for broadcasters.

“It’s less than half a Kuenssberg” he said.

The person who took the job might be “someone already known” but it would likely be someone using it as an “advertising window to a higher profile position or earning opportunities”.

He added: “There’s quite a few Labour and Tory figures who crossed into BBC or cultural roles. Maybe not direct reporting but James Purnell is now big in the BBC management structure. When it comes to big media jobs, having connections gets you far and having contacts in both the political and TV world would probably be very valuable to some employers.

“And at the cynical end of the spectrum, in the current political climate there are these eccentric narcissistic figures who turn into weird celebrity types. Think of the narcissistic oddball Trump types who get money from being pundits on Fox.

“You could imagine a similar scenario here where someone quits the job that made them high profile due to some external pressure and then making money as a loud-mouth lunatic barking at people on LBC or being racist in Mail columns a year later.”

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The SNP’s John Nicolson said he thought he’d be “great at the job”.

The broadcaster-turned-MP said: “I’d love to stand at the podium and translate Boris Johnson’s mendacious windbaggery into truthful answers.”

He added: “Although it gives the impression of openness, hiring a US-style press spokesperson is another example of the PM avoiding press scrutiny. He won’t be answering the questions, but getting a spokesperson to do so. The spokesperson’s responses can then be disowned if need be.”

It’s a bit of a beamer for Jackson Carlaw, who’s spent much of the last month moaning at the BBC for carrying the First Minister’s regular coronavirus briefings.

Earlier this week, he said they were little more than a “SNP party political broadcast” and being used for “point scoring”.

Nicolson said: “Jackson Carlaw is the least impressive Tory leader since the Scottish Parliament was reinstated. He appeared to wish to strike a statesmanlike stance at the onset of Covid, praising the FM. But as he’s seen her approval ratings soar he’s decided to change tactics and be oppositional even when it leads him into absurd dead ends.

“We saw it when he attacked the Scottish chief medical officer for breaching guidelines but wouldn’t do so with Dominic Cummings. And we see it again with press briefings.

“The FM has stood up day after day taking reporters questions and announcing the toll of loss. It must have been gruelling and often harrowing. She’s refused to be drawn on party political issues even when pressed to do so by journalists.

“By contrast, Boris Johnson has avoided press conferences. And, making his first visit to Scotland since the election, he waved a couple of crabs in the air whilst avoiding voters.”

The Prime Minister revealed earlier this month the Government was going to “have a go” at the live briefings following the public interest in No 10’s daily coronavirus press conferences. “People have liked more direct, detailed information from the Government about what is going on,” he said. “And I think that they’ve actually particularly liked our brilliant scientists and medical advisers, possibly more than the politicians to be frank.”

Johnson said he would appear at the podium on occasions. He added: “We do think that people want direct engagement and want stuff from us, and so we’re going to have a go at that.”