By Paul Goodman
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The following note from CCHQ has been forwarded to Tory MPs by the Chief Whip in the Commons:

“Although most Conservative backbenchers alert the CCHQ press office about broadcasting bids, a small minority continue to by-pass us and pop up on TV and radio without warning.  It’s in all our interests that we try to prevent this happening and there are good reasons why MPs should keep us in the loop.
Principally we can ensure

  • that the interview fits into the overall broadcasting strategy for that day
  • that the possibility of two Conservative MPs appearing together is reduced. While differences amongst members exist it is not in the Party’s interest for these to be broadcast, and broadcasters are keen to expose these differences
  • that Members have the most up to date lines to take as these can change throughout the day
  • that Members are not clashing with Cabinet and Ministers
  • that Members are advised on the suitability of conducting an interview given the changing nature of 24-hour news."