Photographer reveals that he tried to warn chief-of-staff to Mark Field before capturing now-famous Brexit notes

Close up of papers held by Julia Dockerill who left cabinet/brexit office to go into No10 walking with Mark Field MP. Image by Steve Back / Barcroft Images

Close up of papers held by Julia Dockerill who left cabinet/brexit office to go into No10 walking with Mark Field MP. Image by Steve Back / Barcroft Images

After his photo of a Tory aide’s notes on Brexit grabbed headlines around the country, photographer Steve Back has revealed that he tried to tell her to cover her folder before snapping his now-famous shot.

Speaking to the Press Gazette, Back – who runs the Political Pictures photo agency – recounted his attempt to warn the politicians, including the chief of staff to Mark Field MP, walking towards Number 10.

“I saw four people come out of Number 9 and recognized one of them as Mark Field. I was shouting at her to put her notes away. They were laughing and that’s what drew my attention to them. They took no notice of me at all.”

The journalists and photographers had been waiting for the arrival of the Polish prime minister when the gaffe occurred. According to Back, there are a number of notices on Downing Street warning politicians to take care with their documents in the face of the press.

On Twitter, he told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that he’s been “telling them for years”.

In 2012, Back won a British Journalism Award for capturing then-minister Oliver Letwin dumping political documents in a park bin.