Politicians Turn to Their Local Papers to Announce Leadership Bids

Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt used their respective local newspapers the Bromsgrove Standard and Farnham Herald to announce their bids to become Prime Minister.

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid exclusively revealed his candidacy for the Tory leadership to the Bromsgrove Standard, who were contacted on Monday, and subsequently broke the news on its website.

This followed Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt exclusively revealing the launch of his bid for the leadership role on Friday in the Farnham Herald. 

Commenting on the exclusive in Hold the Front Page, Bromsgrove Standard editor Tristan Harris said: “I received the call from Sajid’s office on Monday saying as his constituents were the ones who had enabled him to become an MP, it was only right that they be the first to know he would be putting himself forward to be leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. We were delighted Sajid had chosen to give the Standard his statement exclusively and to be able put the news out there first on our website.”

He continued: “It shows the importance and key role local journalism plays in communities and it’s fantastic our town’s MP, current Home Secretary and possibly the future Prime Minister also supports that view.”

Daniel Gee, head of content at the Herald, said: “After sharing the news online at Farnhamherald.com, traffic on the website has soared, and many of the country’s top political commentators including the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg have retweeted the Herald’s coverage.”

He concluded: “We’ve also received some lovely comments on Twitter highlighting the value of the local press, the pick of the bunch coming from ITV Meridian news editor Adam Clark, who tweeted: ‘SCOOP. This is why local newspapers are still so important. They lead. We all follow.’”