BBC’s TV Euro-Debate ‘Revenge’ on No. 10

The BBC has been stepping up the pressure on Downing Street over the show-piece live referendum debate at Wembley stadium. Sources with intimate knowledge of the Beeb’s preliminary offer to Craig Oliver claim they proposed a 4 v 4 debate in front the audience of 12,500, suggesting the following line-up:

Remain: George Osborne, Alan Johnson, Tim Farron, Caroline Lucas

Leave: Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Iain Duncan Smith, George Galloway

This is a hardball proposal, and one which Downing Street is sure to shoot down. Sources say the BBC made the deliberately provocative bid as “revenge” for Oliver’s obstinate negotiating stance over last year’s election debates.

The BBC are also offering a 1 vs. 1 debate and – in the knowledge that No. 10 will refuse to pit Cameron against Boris – so are suggesting Dave and Gove are put forward in a Question Time style setting. This would meet Downing Street’s condition that they are not on stage arguing with each other at the same time. The wrangling is hotting up again…

UPDATE: A BBC source gets in touch to kick back: “This is total, 100% nonsense, including the format and the names”. Curiously the Telegraph has the very same names. Though this is a strong denial from the Beeb and an all-male Leave line-up would be very unlike Auntie…

Ed Davey Defends EDF Deal

Ed Davey’s worst ever Hinckley Point C deal, which will allow owners EDF to charge treble the current market rate for 35 years, was featured on the Today Programme this morning. The BBC failed to mention at any point before, during, or after Davey’s interview that he is now working for EDF’s lobbying firm, MHP. Davey spoke for three minutes defending his deal with EDF, and did not once think to mention his new role as a ‘strategic adviser at MHP to the energy sector’.

Davey claims the agreement was made with “the best available advice”:

“… the truth is, if you look at deals like this, which are over 60 years of generating, you don’t know sitting here today exactly what the value’s going to be, because you’d have to know the price of carbon, the prices of gases and things, in 20, 30, 40 years time – I’m not a clairvoyant, I’m not God.”

You do work for a firm that lobbies on behalf of EDF though…

Media Minister Monitor: Battle of the Producers

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Yesterday Guido brought you Minister Media Monitor, our new resource monitoring ministerial broadcast appearances. As Craig Oliver implements a “one minister a day” policy, the battle is on between producers to land a government spokesman for their programme. In February Sky News and the World at One were the most successful at getting ministers on, followed by the Today programme and Question Time. Piers Morgan only granted one minister a spot on Good Morning Britain. The full numbers show just how few ministers Downing Street authorises to go on the airwaves, another key decline in accountability…

Betting Suspended on Newsnight Political Editor

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Paddy Power have suspended betting on the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn being the new Newsnight political editor. His opening price of 5/1 quickly shortened after a flurry of bets from “in the know” punters apparently, though one told Paddy Power “my only inside knowledge is someone said he looked more cheerful than usual last week”. Betting was suspended when the odds narrowed to 1/5 this morning…

A late runner doing the rounds is the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush. Young, up and coming – and Ian Katz loves a nerd – though he hasn’t always been on their radar:

Get all your runners and riders here

Jim’ll Fix It Staffer Alleges Drugs, Glory-Holes and BBC Corruption

SAVILLE

A former BBC employee who worked on Jim’ll Fix It gets in touch with his experience of Television Centre in the 1970s. Here is his account of drugs, glory-holes and widespread corruption:

I worked there through part of the period. Everyone knew. But the culture was highly sexist, phobic and ignorant. Sex was common currency in most aspects. There was a notorious “cottage” with glory-holes etc in one of the three “assembly” areas in TV Centre. Drugs were commonplace. Favours were sought and corruption was open. That’s the context. That’s why nobody screamed blue murder.

He was far from being alone! I worked on “Fix It”, albeit obliquely. Provided props and and support for the design team. You just avoided the ‘talent’ because he had a famous temper. His predatory sexual creepiness was the least of our worries. He was just a nasty piece of work who enjoyed getting people sacked or in all kinds of trouble. He had few friends amongst the staff. Dressers hated him and the famous cigars were bought in crates at the licence payers’ expense. Horrible man, but not the only one…”

And according to Dame Janet Smith’s report, not a single member of the management knew…

Corbyn’s PMQs Ammo From BBC

At the last PMQs Jeremy Corbyn asked a question from “Rosie“, a fan of the Labour leader who opposes the government on housing. Afterwards, Rosie wrote on her Facebook about why she prefers Jezza to Dave. There are some choice words for the PM.

“Unfortunately, when Jeremy asked David Cameron about my situation, his response was disappointing and misleading. Mr Cameron said he’s ‘delivering for Rosie’ – but he’s definitely not… Jeremy put a strong case forward in my defence by urging the Prime Minister to accept there is a housing crisis and that his weak gesture politics are not enough. It was both saddening and infuriating to listen to Mr Cameron insist that he is doing right by me, when in reality his government is failing my generation.”

Punchy stuff from this Corbynista.

It will come as absolutely no surprise to readers that Rosie in fact works for the BBC:

Indeed, she’s been at the Beeb for three years. When she’s not working as a production coordinator or on commissioning and formats, she’s writing Jezza’s PMQs… 

Guido’s MP Referendum List, As Seen on BBC News

Guido’s crowd-sourced list of MPs’ positions on the referendum has received massive interest from punters, pundits, MPs and Tory associations, and today it was used in an in-depth statistical analysis on the BBC One O’Clock News. Read the spreadsheet they are all talking about here

JoCo v George Galloway

All credit to Jo Coburn for not losing it with George Galloway on the Daily Politics. Not to mention the killer put down: “When have you ever not wanted to talk about you?” Galloway joining Grassroots Out is going well, then.

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

bbcqt 1802

Tonight’s episode will be from Stratford-upon-Avon. Finally, with June Sarpong the BBC have given us a real political heavyweight…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mogg Mauls PM’s Thin Gruel

Jacob Rees-Mogg was doing the rounds last night as the PM desperately scrambles to finalise a deal on his proposed renegotiations before Friday.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Manifesto Tracker Launch

Look out on this morning’s Sunday Politics for the launch of their new manifesto tracker analysing how well the Tories are doing at keeping their election promises. It’s a pretty hefty piece of work, recording progress on each of their 161 pledges over the next four years.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dimbleby’s Questionable Tirade Against “Right-Wing”

dimbleby-partisan

Any Questions last night came from the Royal College for the Blind in Hereford with the Lord Blunkett, David Davis, the dotty General Secretary of CND, Dr Kate Hudson, and Quentin Letts. The mix compered by Jonathan Dimbleby. At the end, as the audience was still sitting there, Dimbleby gave them a lecture about the horrid right-wing wanting to close the BBC and urging them all to write to their MP, ministers etc.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

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Tonight’s episode will be from Llanelli. Guido hopes for a performance of a similar calibre to her ballroom dancing from Leanne Wood…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sadiq Loses It With BBC Journalist Over TFL Fares Sums

SK: “I don’t accept this nonsense that’s been bandied about… TfL haven’t said there’s a £1.9 billion…”

BBC: “They have to me, Sadiq Khan, they have to me.”

SK: “… Hold on a sec, you’ve asked me a question. You’ve bandied about a figure that’s incorrect and I’m correcting you… you’re throwing about these figures that are complete nonsense… I think it’s important that I correct journalists…”

When you’re explaining, you are losing…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

qt

Tonight’s broadcast will be from Bradford. Not exactly UKIP country for Nige…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

QT1

Tonight’s debate will be held in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Jess Philips, Alibhai-Brown and Angus Robertson all feature. Should be eventful…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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