The First Minister held a press briefing yesterday (23rd Jan). This is not, in itself, unusual, but there is a bit of an intriguing twist.

The event was billed as a “press briefing” but unlike previous briefings, the FM had no specific item she wished to discuss. Instead, it was more of an “Ask Me Anything” session. Every journalist was given a turn to ask a question on a topic of their choice. Inevitably, some coped with this unexpected opportunity better than others!

Topics ranged from cost of living crisis, public sector pay deals and care service staffing difficulties to the FMs personal tax returns and her thoughts on Alister Jack and his Section 35 manoeuvres.

The FM suggested that this would be the first of more such press briefings. It is not yet clear what the frequency of future events might be. We will, of course, keep a close eye on this welcome initiative as it develops.

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