Applications open to be Boris Johnson's '£100,000 per year' TV spokesperson

Boris Johnson is looking for a new representative to "communicate with the nation" on his behalf. Credit: Downing Street

Boris Johnson is looking for a new spokesperson who will become the face of the government at televised White House style press briefings.

The "unique opportunity", advertised on LinkedIn, says the successful applicant will "communicate with the nation on behalf of the Prime Minister".

The job advert says the salary will be "determined based on experience", but newspaper reports claim it will be around £100,000.

"Essential skills" for the role include the "ability to understand and communicate complex issues clearly and concisely to the public" and "excellent risk management and crisis communications skills".

"Excellent interpersonal skills" are also essential, "as you will work closely with colleagues in No 10 and across Whitehall – and lead the decision-making process where appropriate", the advert said.

The successful applicant will have experience as a "senior spokesperson or senior journalist".

Early reports said Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley was being lined up for the role but the appearance of a public job advert suggests he will not fill the vacancy.

The job advert was presented by Boris Johnson's director of communications, Lee Cain. Credit: Conservatives

Televised briefings in America are a cornerstone of the political news cycle, with former White House press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders becoming household names around the world after representing Donald Trump's administration.

Number 10 had been keen to improve "accountability and transparency" of its communications with the media after the daily coronavirus press conferences showed "significant public appetite" for extra information from the government.

The regular morning briefing will still take place away from the television cameras, but the afternoon briefing will be broadcast to the public from 9 Downing Street.

The new spokesperson will fill a "political role" and will be employed by the Conservatives, not the civil service.

Sarah Sanders and Sean Spicer are household names after their time fronting the White House press briefings. Credit: AP

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said working for the party will allow the new representative to "answer political questions in a way that I’m not (able to)".

The job description said: "The demands of the post are high and it will appeal to an experienced and confident media operator who would enjoy working on camera and with senior ministers, political advisers, officials and journalists; who would relish the challenge and pace of televised briefing; and who has a strong grasp of foreign and domestic policy issues.

Those interested in the role should email a CV and statement of suitability of "no more than 500 words" to leecain.recruitment@no10.gov.uk by August 21, 2020.