On SAGE Insight: Discretion and secrecy in governance: Theresa May’s approach as UK PM

Article title: A woman who can keep a secret

From British Journalism Review

Fiona Hill, one of Theresa May’s chiefs of staff is thought to have influenced a change in both leadership and communication style, it is undeniable that she has given the UK Prime Minister’s media operation a ferocious grip not seen in Downing Street for more than 10 years. Her sense of discretion is remarkable. Her well-advertised frustration over the leaking to the German press of what happened (and possibly what didn’t happen) at a Downing Street dinner for EU chiefs was genuine. By instinct she’s as far from being a blabbermouth as can be imagined. The single-minded control is one of the reasons why the PM was able to keep the secret of her intention to hold an election. Few knew about it, and she knew who knew. Anyone who got gabby would be noticed and ushered towards the door. Theresa May’s decision to make a U-turn on her ‘no election’ stance was cloaked in secrecy. The tight circle with tight lips has not only frustrated some on the inside but also those in the media world who have grown accustomed to media-savvy politicos catering for their need for stories to fill their pages and bulletins, and to being used to help shape the debate. For May and Hill, discretion and secrecy appear to play key roles in governance. Read more…

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Article details

A woman who can keep a secret
James Hanning
First Published June 27, 2017
British Journalism Review
DOI: 10.1177/0956474817713960



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