Women in public affairs: what’s changed and what needs to change

This morning, the Women in Public Affairs Network met for a breakfast event with Stephanie Lvovich, Global Public Affairs Chair at Edelman and Anji Hunter, Senior Adviser at Edelman. They discussed the ups and downs of working in the industry, how things have changed and what more needs to be done. It made for an interesting conversation, with women from the wider public affairs and communications sector also sharing their experiences. Here are 6 things that came up.

  1. Being a woman in public affairs has gotten better:

In business, 10 of the top 100 FTSE 100 CEOs are women and most work in areas which have been traditionally male dominated. Similarly, when Anji started working in the House of Commons as a Research Assistant to Tony Blair, there were just 41 female MPs – now there are 191, making up 30% of the total intake, and there’s gender parity for MPs under 35. This isn’t perfect, but it bodes well for the future of gender balance in the House of Commons and, more broadly, for women in politics.

  1. Ignore the ‘silent critic’

Compared to thirty years ago, women in the UK are up against far fewer barriers in employment: there’s equal pay, maternity leave and legal protection against discriminatory practices. The biggest issue that both Stephanie and Anji see facing women today is a lack of self-belief, and the ‘silent critic’ which tells them that they shouldn’t really be going for that promotion or pay rise. Even Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg has experienced this: she says she felt embarrassed when she found out she’d made the Fortune 500. So while there are less structural barriers stopping women from achieving success, there may be more to be done on a personal basis.

  1. Public affairs is changing

Public affairs has a reputation for being an old boy’s club, and can be dominated by a ‘who do you know’ not ‘what do you know’ way of working. But, as Stephanie points out, it seems to be moving from a space where relationships define your career to one where strategy, knowledge and issues are more dominant. This change in focus may benefit the women who don’t feel part of the old boy’s club.

  1. Women in politics face some unique problems

For women in politics, likability and success is inversely correlated. There’s a balance that needs to be struck between authority, which we assume politicians should have, and softness, which we assume women should have. As such, female politicians have a hard time trying to get this balance right in a way that voters find compelling. In the near future we may have a female Prime Minister, President and Leader of the Opposition, so it will be interesting to see how the media and public view them in this respect.

  1. Quotas have a time and a place

Politics and public affairs are areas that have improved in terms of female representation, but as one attendee pointed out this morning, there are still large proportions of the industry which are heavily dominated by men. In terms of making change happen, there was general consensus that quotas serve the purpose of normalising the position of women in male dominated workplaces. As all-female shortlists for MPs have shown, this isn’t something which needs to be permanent, but works as a means to drive change.

  1. Brexit and PR

Unavoidably, Brexit came up in conversation. From a business perspective, the insecurity and lack of confidence that Brexit has created was broadly viewed with concern. From a PR perspective, it also raised interesting questions about how the industry now has to understand and reach out to the 17 million people who voted to leave the EU.


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Is it time for politics to fall in line with advertising standards?

The referendum is over, and whatever your opinion of the outcome, there are few people who would say that the campaign has been a victory for informed debate. Both the Leave and Remain campaigns came under heavy criticism for the tone and quality of information which they produced. This has started a conversation about the standards that political advertising should be held to: is it time that politics fell in line with the rest of the advertising world?

On the Remain side, David Cameron decided voters might be swayed if they believed ISIS supports Brexit, and the Treasury put out so many reports about the impending financial doom that they lost any impact. Nigel Farage’s ‘’breaking point’’ poster also came under heavy criticism, which used non-white refugees crossing the Croatia-Slovenia border as a warning against European migration to the UK. But perhaps the biggest kick in the face to the electorate was Vote Leave’s claim that £350million a week would be available to put into the NHS in the case of Brexit, a figure which the Institute for Fiscal Studies described as “clearly absurd”. Farage was first to backtrack on this, just hours after the final result was declared, and Ian Duncan Smith has since distanced himself from both the figure and its implications for public services in the UK.

Former Karmarama executive creative director Sam Walker told Campaign magazine that political ads should fall under the same regulations as any other form of advertising. While there are penalties for pedalling racist or sexist advertising campaigns, Walker raises the point that in politics, there are no repercussions for campaigns which have obviously racist undertones. Similarly, politicians aren’t held to account for selling mistruths such as the £350 million per week claim, even though the outcome has far greater implications than commercial advertising usually would.

In the UK, a petition has been started on the government website, calling for it to be made illegal to knowingly mislead the public during political campaigns. With the US elections on the horizon and with Trump’s propensity to peddle extremes, it would be interesting to see how his campaign would be different if this were the case.


Vote leave: where the media leads, the British public follows

Press Gazette’s ‘Brexitometer tracker chart’, which adds up the total number of front pages which favoured Remain versus Leave throughout the referendum, showed an overwhelming tendency towards Leave in the UK press. After much talk of the power of social rather than traditional media during this campaign, does this show that the mainstream press can still sway public opinion?

Referendum social media

Leave (red) versus Remain (orange) front pages

The Sun, which has a much touted tendency to pick the winning side in political events, would certainly argue that it does. And as correlations go, it’s a pretty strong one: if you were to have based your referendum predictions on social media, you could be forgiven for assuming that Remain would edge it. Yet as we can see below, there was a clear tendency towards pro-Brexit headlines in traditional print, countered by only two strong Remain voices from the Guardian and the Times.

Brexit papers

Proportion of Leave to Remain front pages by newspaper

This raises questions about the direction of information flows: does the press set the agenda or follow it? Newspaper editors are usually quick to claim they mirror the opinion of their readership, and so headlines we have seen in recent months about, for instance, migrant workers, are a reflection of fears rather than attempts to stoke them. Even so, the UK press is historically Eurosceptic and even when public opinion was veering towards Remain, the majority of headlines were anti-EU. If you take a look at the EU’s Euromyths page, you can also gain an idea of the misinformation which is pushed by certain outlets: whether setting or following the agenda, it seems the UK press is certainly not averse to embellishing the truth.

Download the Vuelio summary of EU referendum stakeholder reaction and media analysis here. 

EU Membership Referendum – Stakeholder Response & Media Analysis

EU_referendum_white-paper_thumbnailSo it’s Brexit – and the only thing that seems certain right now is that there will be big changes. How you can get on top of events and start building for a future outside the EU?

With the British people starkly divided and financial markets in turmoil, we’ve analysed the media reaction and rounded up all the opinion, comment and insight from key stakeholders, business and community leaders – to give you the best chance to prepare for what’s next

Fill out the form to download it now.

EU referendum: The 6 stand-out events of the campaign

With just two days to go until the referendum, we look back on the stand out events of the campaign period. 

1. The Tories split
Divisions in the Conservative party have dominated headlines more than the referendum itself. The Conservatives can usually be relied upon to tow the party line and display unity in parliament, but the EU has brought long standing and deep rooted divisions to the fore. Cameron has been met with disdain from his backbenchers during PMQs, open letters questioning the economic wisdom of his government and the combined force of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson working against him. Thursday’s result will be important for more reasons than just our membership of the EU: a vote to leave also has big implications for the Conservative leadership.

2. Dodgy marketing
See our previous blog post for a more in depth look at this, but the referendum has seen both sides make some terrible, and at times hilarious, marketing faux pas. From the Wetherspoon’s beer mat to the ill-fated #Votin campaign, the prospect of such a close result has meant that desperate measures have been taken to get your vote.

3. A change in debate?
Immigration has been top of the agenda throughout the campaign period, prompting a debate over the tone that arguments have taken at times. From Boris Johnson’s comments about President Obama’s Kenyan heritage to UKIP’s most recent anti-immigration poster, there have been claims that the tone has been at times too aggressive. The murder of pro-immigration MP Jo Cox has reignited the debate again, with calls for all aspects of the campaign to be treated with more humility.

4. Labour fails to make an impact
Concerns have mounted throughout the campaign period that the pro-EU message of the Labour leadership has failed to resonate with voters. After a survey revealed that many Labour voters are unaware which side of the debate Jeremy Corbyn comes down on, a more concerted effort has been made to get his message across. With traditional Labour voters a key group that has been defecting to UKIP, this is a major area of concern for pro-EU Labour MPs.

5. Stubborn voter preferences
As has become increasingly clear over the course of the referendum, if there’s one thing that is likely to inspire indifference in the electorate, it’s politicians. While Westminster character-clashes may have captured the public’s attention, polls have shown that debates, speeches and research has had an almost negligible impact on voting preference. Similarly, the mainstream media has shown a dwindling level of influence on the public: this has been a campaign where social media has come to the forefront of the debate.

6. Nigel Farage takes a flotilla up the Thames
While this really belongs in the ‘dodgy marketing’ camp, Farage’s river based antics get a spot all of their own on this list. If one outspoken figure trawling the Thames and shouting about the EU wasn’t enough, excitement levels increased even more once it became apparent that Bob Geldof was countering his flotilla with one of his own.

Vote Leave and Leave.EU: steering themselves towards Remain?

In a race as close as the current EU referendum campaign, an interesting development has occurred: the most competitive parties are not Remain and Leave, but actually the two main groups campaigning for Brexit. Vote Leave and Leave.EU have been unable to put their differences aside and come together for their cause, leaving some big gaps in their communications strategy. Both sides are so hungry to be the face of Brexit that they have created a two-pronged approach to campaigning, muddying the waters in an already murky campaign.

Most recently the official, and largely Conservative, campaign group Vote Leave has threatened legal action against ITV for pitting Nigel Farage against David Cameron in an upcoming Q&A session.  A source from Vote Leave seems to have promised retribution, claiming that “ITV has effectively joined the official In campaign and there will be consequences for its future – the people in No 10 won’t be there for long.” And as ITV takes flak from Vote Leave, Leave.EU has turned on the BBC for not offering Farage a seat against anyone more prominent than Nicola Sturgeon.

That Vote Leave has threatened legal action based on this decision symbolises the tone of the referendum debate so far, which has seen mudslinging take precedence over substance throughout. However, there is an issue when one of the most prominent anti-EU campaigners is not part of the official campaign to leave. Farage is seen as a divisive figure by many in Vote Leave, which has been keen to take a less immigration-centric stance throughout its campaign. But like him or not, he’s a key figure in Brexit circles, and one whose party came third in the general election campaigning on this issue alone.

The next three weeks will be a test of endurance for both groups: will their will to win an out vote overcome their desire to see each other’s campaign fail?

PR in the Community

Think community is optional? It’s not – in fact, your organisation is already part of at least one network and probably many more, as your markets, partners, suppliers and employees connect up across a variety of social media.
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Marketing community reveals Brexit apprehension

A survey conducted by the Marketing Society, published in today’s issue of Campaign, has revealed the marketing community’s overwhelming support for remaining part of the EU. The research showed that 77% of respondents – senior marketers and agency executives – are in favour of voting to remain. Meanwhile, 8% are unsure how they would vote and 15% are in favour of leaving.

When asked about the impact that remaining in the EU would have on short-term business confidence, 94% of those interviewed said they believed it would be positive. Just 2% think that remaining in the EU will be detrimental, while 4% are unsure. 88% of respondents agreed EU membership had positive implications for travel in and around Europe, 4% said they thought travel would become worse and the remaining 8% did not know.

Opinion becomes more divided when it comes to factors such as immigration and company growth. 69% of respondents believe that there would be a positive impact on the growth of their organisation if the UK were to remain, while 27% answered ‘‘don’t know’’- the biggest proportion of this response for any question asked in the survey. The most polarising question relates to immigration: only 32% of marketers feel that remaining will have a positive impact on immigration in the UK, while 46% feel this would have negative consequences. Notably, this is the only area where negative responses outweigh positive ones.

The difference in opinion over immigration becomes all the more pertinent when viewed in relation to the views of the wider public. A recent Ipsos Mori poll also shows this issue to be definitive: if immigration figures fall, only a small number of leave voters say they will instead vote to remain. In contrast to this, 44% of remain voters say they will vote to leave if figures rise by 100,000.

Despite this, the results point towards a fairly certain vote of confidence for remaining part of the EU from senior figures in the marketing community. Given their job role, the question is now whether they will harness their skills to boost the prospects of the remain campaign.

Twitter’s reaction to the Queen’s speech

Dennis Skinner made the biggest impact on social media this year, after he upheld tradition and interrupted proceedings to protest the Government’s changes to the BBC. In terms of new legislation, the Government’s wide sweeping prison reform quickly started gaining traction.  British Bill of Rights also made an impact, reflecting the controversial nature of the proposal. Meanwhile, neither the Government’s new hot phrase ‘’life chances’’ or changes to the adoption and foster care system seemed to have any major impact on social media users.

Here is a round of the top journalist Tweets in response to the Queen’s Speech.


For more information about the reaction to the Queen’s speech please download our analysis 

Queen’s Speech 2016 | Stakeholder Reaction & Media Analysis

Yesterday the Queen’s Speech outlined major proposals for every walk of life, from healthcare and education to transport and the digital economy.

How will these changes affect you? And how did the media and other stakeholders respond?

We’ve included a full summary of the speech and analysis of the media reaction, as well as an overview of assessments and key takeaways from experts in the areas most impacted. It’s everything you need to know about the issues raised and what they mean for you.

Fill out the form to download it now.

The Legal Guide to Blogger, Vlogger and Media Relations



Do you know all the regulations governing such transactions?

Recent research found that two thirds of professional bloggers expected payment in exchange for working with brands, and some vloggers can command tens of thousands of pounds for every brand mention.

We’ve rounded up all the laws, regulations and best practices enforced and advocated by the various legal and other authorities responsible for PR, marketing and the media.


Fill out the form to download it now.

EU referendum: has campaign messaging missed the mark?

The referendum campaign has so far been fraught with drama, but voters could be excused for feeling that, while entertaining, there’s been little offered from either side that feels genuinely informative.  What part of the campaign has impacted on polling and social media so far? Taken from total poll results over the last 6 months, here are some of the events which stand out.

Boris decides
Never one to shy away from a dramatic announcement, Boris Johnson took his time deciding which side of the fence he’d be on. When he announced, he changed the terms of the debate in a big way: one Conservative leadership hopeful pitted against another (George Osborne), adding an extra edge to the outcome of the referendum. If anything, the announcement seemed to muddy the water: both ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ preferences declined, whilst ‘don’t knows’ increased by 9 points.

The leaflet debacle
The Government’s leaflet campaign was widely criticised for using tax-payers money to fund information in favour of remaining part of the EU. This enraged leave supporters and a petition criticising the campaign gained over 200,000 signatures. Did it have any effect on voting preference? Surprisingly, polls show both ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ gained a 4 point increase whilst ‘don’t knows’ dropped by 8 points. While divisive, the leaflet debate actually led to increased engagement and clarity around voting preference.

Obama steps in
Barack Obama’s intervention in April was always going to be a gamble. While the President is undoubtedly a figure you want backing your team, his involvement didn’t resonate well with voters in the ‘leave’ and ‘don’t know’ camps. While it caused a flurry of activity on Twitter, people intending to vote out actually increased after Obama’s speech, as did those who were undecided.

Pro-Brexit Twitter activity

Pro-Brexit Twitter activity

Pro-Remain Twitter activity

Pro-Remain Twitter activity








One feature of the campaign so far has been that drama and political infighting have taken centre stage, while there’s been little information of substance that voters can really engage with. Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe now need to view the next five weeks as an opportunity to mobilise voters who don’t feel knowledgeable or engaged enough to make an informed decision. This may mean a move away from theatricals and mudslinging: it may be asking a lot, but voters will be looking for level headed, reliable information instead.

May Elections 2016 – The Media & Stakeholder Reaction

May Elections 2016 - Media & Stakeholder Reaction
Last week’s local and mayoral elections turned the political map of the UK on its head. How did the media and other stakeholders react to the drama? And what does it all mean for you?
With significant parts of Scotland turning Tory blue and mayors from minority backgrounds running England’s largest cities, you can expect big changes that will impact your organisation. Get ahead of the curve with our round-up of the key opinion, comment and insight.

Fill out the form to download it now.

Elections 2016: The top 5 results

Last Thursday, mayors were elected in major cities, local elections were held across the country and parliamentary elections took place in the devolved administrations. Here are some of the best bits.

1. Scotland turns blue

Significant parts of Scotland turned Conservative blue, with Labour polling behind them for the first time since 1910. For context, this was just before full male suffrage was implemented throughout the country in 1918- so a pretty momentous occasion for the Conservatives, and one that will offset what’s been a tumultuous few months for David Cameron.

2. The South turns red

In a further twist which turned the political spectrum on its head and baffled political commenters across the board, Labour pulled back ground in councils in the South of England. This may have been a snub to Cameron’s many assertions about the good results voters see ‘’when the South votes blue’’ and will have been welcome news to leader Jeremy Corbyn. Less welcome will be the key seats Labour lost in Wales, with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood snapping up their seat in Rhondda.

3. UKIP (and Neil Hamilton) take seats in Wales

UKIP gained 7 Assembly seats, although not, as we would have been led to believe, from Labour: the Lib Dems, Conservatives and Plaid bore the brunt of their gains. Neil Hamilton won a surprise seat for UKIP in Wales, and is already expected to challenge Nathan Gill for the post of UKIP assembly group leader when the party meets on Tuesday.

4. The mayoral elections break new ground

London elected its first Muslim mayor, which has caused Donald Trump to back-track on his pledge to ban ‘all Muslims’ from entering the US. In what may be his first attempt at international diplomacy, Mr Trump has conceded that Sadiq Khan would be allowed in as ‘an exception’. Meanwhile Bristol, a city built on the slave trade, has elected Marvin Rees: Europe’s first mayor of African or Caribbean heritage.

5. Equal marriage may be back on the cards in Northern Ireland

According to Amnesty International, at least 58 of the 108 elected Assembly members (MLAs) in Northern Ireland support the introduction of equal marriage – a marked shift, after the last assembly had repeatedly failed to introduce legislation to bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.


You can download the Vuelio media and stakeholder reaction to the 2016 elections here. This includes all the results and a round-up of reaction and commentary from the media and other stakeholders.


Political engagement: has anything changed?

Fueled by the prospect of a hung parliament, the 2015 election saw 66% of Britons turn out to the polls to vote. While this was proudly touted by the press as the ‘highest turnout since Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide’, dwindling political engagement has long been a concern for parliamentarians around the country. As the Hansard Society prepares to launch the 2016 Audit of Political Engagement on April 14th, we explore the key events that have sparked an interest from the public. 

The upcoming EU referendum has given the public a reason to get riled up, and it’s dominated social media like no other political topic. Ask a friend whether they think we should leave or remain and they’ll probably have an opinion: ask them why, and they may not be quite so sure. But whether it’s the drama of the campaign or the politics itself, it’s gripped the public in a way which has been lacking for some time. The graph below shows the high volume of twitter mentions since February, when the referendum was officially announced.  The only issue is that this will end on June 23rd.


Referendum twitter activity

Perhaps the rise of the ‘Corbynista’ will have a more long term impact. After the Conservative win and Ed Miliband’s resignation, Corbyn’s rapid ascent was fuelled by a monumental rise in Labour party membership. Between May and January 2016, numbers increased by around 137,000. To put this into perspective, nearly as much as the Conservative’s total membership of 150,000. Corbyn’s supporters are clear about what they want, which is something different to run of the mill Westminster politicians. Conservatives will find comfort in the fact that their voters are largely uninterested in being part of a party of activism, and Corbyn would probably struggle to be elected as PM- but he’s inspired engagement which most party leaders can only dream of.

The graph below shows the peak number of tweets relating to Corbyn and Cameron in the last month.

Corbyn Cameron Tweet Volume

Budget 2016 Reaction Summary

Budget 2016 The 2016 Budget was announced on March 16th. What was the media and public reaction? And what does it mean for you?
Read Vuelio’s 2016 Budget Stakeholder Reaction to see how key stakeholders and the media reacted to the news, and how the public responded on social media.

We’ve also included our Budget Summary from Wednesday, so you can to get a full breakdown of the main issues and get an understanding of how they affect you.

Fill out the form to download it now.

Charities, non-profits, NGOs – meet the shy content marketers

Building a strategic digital content marketing strategy can be difficult for any organisation. Finding the time to get to grips with multiple technologies and curate, create and distribute useful, actionable content through various channels (including your corporate blog, email, social media, PR activity, etc.) is hard enough, but many budding content marketers fall long before they even reach these hurdles. The real challenge is dreaming up the big ideas for your campaigns in the first place.

Consider the plight of the industrial widget sales organisation. Typically, their rather generic products are so dull that the mere thought of writing a blog post or issuing a press release is enough to drive even the most enthusiastic content writer to the edge of despair. Despite this they work diligently, dreaming up new ways of engaging an audience who are equally indifferent to their efforts – until they need a widget (in which case they will buy the cheapest one). How they must envy those organisations with a real story to tell.

The third sector – too shy

Typically, this is not a problem suffered by the third sector. It would be a real challenge to find a single charity, non-profit, voluntary, community or non-governmental organisation that didn’t have a whole raft of inspirational and highly actionable stories to tell. Let’s not forget, the third sector is largely fuelled by passion and passion is a vital component of any content marketing strategy.

The fact that content marketing can be managed on extremely tight budgets (it can even be free) should be enough of an incentive to encourage vast swaths of the third sector to jump on the content marketing bandwagon.

Despite these factors, many third sector organisations struggle to commit to a robust programme of content creation and, as a result, potentially miss out on opportunities to effectively communicate with their core audience of supporters, volunteers, activists and media allies. This represents a significant lost opportunity to make a real difference in thcontentmarketing1e communities they serve.

One of the biggest challenges the third sector face when it comes to creating compelling content is the fact that their stories often touch the lives of real people (often in difficult circumstances). For the inexperienced content producer, the challenge of seeking the permission of benefactors, recipients or other community members becomes a bit of a self-imposed roadblock.

How would you ask the parents of a sick child if they could front your next campaign? How can you seek permission from someone who is not in the position to fully comprehend your objectives?

You can see the difficulties some content producers face and why it might be easier not to engage in the first place. However, this should never be an excuse for not developing your content marketing efforts as the benefits will quickly put any doubts or fears into perspective.

Put in the ground work to reassure any subjects and ensure safeguards are in place to protect the vulnerable and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing and able to help. Get this right and the content will almost write itself, helping you to reach your goals and support your community.

The third sector cannot afford to be shy. If you’re still not convinced that it is time to rise to the challenge of effective content marketing in the third sector perhaps you should consider a change of career. The widget industry is always full of fresh opportunities – nope I didn’t think so.

Last week in politics- what got the public talking?

Every day the Vuelio Political Services team sends out the Westminster Daily, a preview of the day’s debates, speeches and legislation taking place in Parliament that keeps public affairs professionals on top of the political agenda. But how does this daily activity translate to the wider public? There were a few stand-out moments last week, notably the FCO’s report on life after Brexit and Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson’s speech on ESA cuts in the House of Lords. So what got the public talking on social media?

Social Media Mentions- Politics

Social Media Mentions by Issue

The EU Parliament was full of debates, questions and committee meetings on the upcoming referendum and unsurprisingly, Brexit chat also dominated social media. Mentions stayed high and constant at around 10 million throughout the week, and the topic’s global importance puts it far above any other issue terms of numbers. This was largely unchanged by the FCO’s report on the process of withdrawing from the EU; the biggest spike came on Sunday, coinciding with British Chamber of Commerce boss John Longworth’s resignation.


 Tax free childcare

During PMQs David Cameron came under attack from Jeremy Corbyn on the ‘hold up’ on tax-free childcare, which Cameron now says will be fully implemented by 2017.  Social media mentions peaked on Wednesday before plummeting, though the issue remained on Twitter’s radar for the remainder of the week.


English National Anthem Bill On Friday, MPs gathered for the second reading of the English national anthem bill which proposes that England should have an alternative anthem to God Save the Queen. The issue achieved a fair amount of traction on social media, peaking on Friday. The odds are out on whether the bill will pass, but polls suggest that God Save the Queen remains a favourite either way.

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

On Monday the House of Lords voted to block government plans to reduce some disability benefits by £30 per week. Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson gave a brilliant speech on the effect of cutting ESA for disabled recipients, which gathered publicity as the week progressed.


Politics and the art of deflection

It’s no secret that a major part of a politician’s job description is avoiding questions it may be best not to answer directly. A recent interview between the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and Justice Secretary Michael Gove shows a typical rally between journalist and politician with an interesting twist.

Pressing Gove on his claims that David Cameron’s recent EU renegotiations aren’t legally binding at an EU level, Kuenssberg faces the age old challenge of trying to get a straight answer out of a politician. Gove is in the position of campaigning against the Prime Minister, who also happens to be his boss, on the EU referendum. Politicians campaigning on an issue usually jump at the chance to label their opponents misleading, but here Gove has the task of being critical without undermining him.

When pressed on whether he disputes the legal status of Cameron’s deal, he replies ‘’let’s not put words into my mouth’’. Ultimately though, he does dispute it. While he point blank refuses to say the Prime Minister is wrong or has been misleading, by insisting that the ‘’European Court of Justice is not bound by this agreement’’ he is arguing that the Prime Minister is, well, wrong. And by default, as Kuenssberg points out, he has also been misleading.

Gove knows he’s been called out, but he’s not flustered enough to crumble. Again, this is a key part of any politician’s resume; you must be resolute enough to deflect logical argument, and able to hammer home your point no matter what. When the interview made headlines for all the reasons Gove had tried to avoid, he managed to cover his back because technically, no criticism was made of the Prime Minister himself.