Tindle title the Farnham Herald was able to get exclusive insights on the latest goings-on at the heart of power when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt gave his local newspaper an exclusive interview.
The MP for South West Surrey turned to his local news brand to explain to constituents his progress in leading the country’s finances by speaking to Herald editor Colin Channon on a range of national and local issues in his Downing Street office.
In the interview, Mr Hunt explained his reasons for returning to one of the toughest jobs in UK politics during a time of economic challenges.
He said: “It’s obviously a very challenging situation for the economy but it’s a very important role at a very difficult time.
“I also think people in South West Surrey would have expected me to accept a job like that. I think they sent their MP to parliament to do their duty and it was one of those moments when people would have wanted me to do that.”
Mr Hunt also played down suggestions he had been considering stepping down as an MP before the invitation to be Chancellor was made. He said: “The thought had never crossed my mind. I am still very committed to public service and I believe that old saying that there is no greater privilege for an Englishmen than to be a member of parliament.”
The interview came months after Mr Hunt used his regular column in the Herald to back a change of leadership in Downing Street.
Last June as a prominent opponent Mr Hunt gave the Herald an exclusive on his call for then Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be removed following public hostility to the Partygate scandal.
Paying tribute to the local media in his latest interview, Mr Hunt said: “The great thing about British politics is we have local newspapers like the Herald checking up on us and holding us to account, and I know the letters pages of the Herald will be first to identify if I don’t do what I said I would do.”
Herald editor Colin Channon said the latest interview built on the strong link with local newspapers. Colin said: “Jeremy has always treated his local papers very fairly.
“When he decided to stand in the election to be prime minister, and was eventually beaten by Boris Johnson, it was the Herald which broke the story.
“Fair play to him, he didn’t duck a single question in our interview, even when we asked about whether he had considered stepping away from politics when it seemed his Cabinet days were behind him, or how he and the prime minister felt they could relate to the challenges felt by ordinary people when they are both multi-millionaires.
“Jeremy still writes a regular column in the Herald and has made it clear his Downing Street door is always open to our journalists.”
Colin encouraged colleagues to put themselves forward for visiting the seat of power.
He said: “If one of our Tindle journalists hasn’t been to Downing Street, try to get along!
“It’s one of the few assignments I have been on that made my family and friends jealous. They wanted to know what it is really like inside the famous No10 door. And yes, you have to go through Number 10 to get to Number 11.
“My only regret? You always have to leave your phone in a pigeon hole as you enter the building and I really wanted to try to get a photo of Boris’ gold wallpaper in Number 11…”
To read the full interview, go to: https://www.farnhamherald.com/news/jeremy-hunt-mp-its-tough-but-well-get-there-586292
You can read his take on local issues here: https://www.farnhamherald.com/news/jeremy-hunt-believes-pedestrianisation-will-come-to-farnham-but-not-yet-586223