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Boris Johnson uses £2.6m taxpayer-funded media room to watch James Bond film

The Prime Minister and officials enjoyed a screening of ‘No Time To Die’ in a plush briefing room overhauled at taxpayers’ expense

Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty in the No 9 briefing room

Boris Johnson and No10 staff have used a £2.6 million briefing room to host a screening of the latest James Bond film.

Downing Street confirmed reports that the Prime Minister and officials enjoyed a showing of ‘No Time to Die’ in the comfort of the refurbished media studio at No 9.

The former courtroom was transformed at taxpayers’ expense to hold White House-style press briefings – which were later scrapped.

It is now used for media briefings and press conferences but it has been unavailable for the last two days due to an unspecified event.

A No 10 spokesman said: “Yesterday the Prime Minister met with Pinewood Studios, Universal Pictures, Eon Productions and the BFI to congratulate them on the success of the latest James Bond instalment – a testament to the talent of British creative industry.



‘No Time To Die’ marks Daniel Craig’s last outing as the iconic secret agent
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Image:

MGM/Eon/Danjaq/UPI/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)




“An evening film screening took place for staff who made voluntary donations, with all proceeds going to Sarcoma UK.”

The screening took place outside of work hours, with the PM in attendance.

And it is understood that this is not the first time the plush room has been used for film showings.

Former journalist Allegra Stratton was brought in as the PM’s press secretary to front the televised briefings but the start date was repeatedly delayed by the pandemic.

The idea was eventually dropped after the departure of the PM’s advisers Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain, who were pushing for the move.

Ms Stratton was then moved out of Downing Street to become spokeswoman for the COP26 climate summit.

The cost of the revamp ran to more than £2.6 million, according to figures released under Freedom of Information laws.

Labour previously branded it a “pointless vanity project” and said the money should have been spent giving a pay rise to NHS workers.


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