Journalists better than MPs at holding ministers to account over Covid-19 – poll

Journalists are doing a better job than MPs at holding the Government to account over its response to the coronavirus crisis, a poll has suggested.

The survey of more than 1,000 British adults by Ipsos Mori found 43% thought reporters asking questions at the daily Downing Street press conference were doing a good job.

It compared with 28% who said they were doing a bad job.

TV and radio journalists in general were said by 40% to be doing a good job at holding the Government to account, compared with 25% who thought the opposite.

Newspaper reporters were said to be doing a good job by 30% but a bad job also by 30% of respondents.

Meanwhile, 31% thought MPs were doing a bad job, compared with 28% who thought they were doing well.

One in five said newly elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was doing a bad job at holding the Government to account, while 24% thought he had done a good job.

Journalists have faced online abuse over their questioning, and the Government this week moved to add questions from members of the public to the daily press conferences.

Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, said: “Despite recent controversy about journalists challenging Government spokespeople, by 43% to 28% the public say they are doing a good job in holding the Government to account.

“They do rather better than the official opposition – highlighting the challenge Keir Starmer has in connecting with the public during the crisis.”

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