Hancock Gets Shirty With Robinson

Matt Hancock’s interview this morning on the Today Programme got feisty when he was being pressed on what the Government was considering as routes out of the lockdown. After Hancock was asked by Nick Robinson “whether and when you tell us how you might ease [the lockdown] even if you don’t exit from it”, multiple times, Hancock got uncharacteristically shirty:

“How we communicate as a government, as ministers, has a direct impact on the amount of cases we have, and therefore the amount of people who die. A direct impact… Let me please, let me finish the… answer!”

Hancock was adamant that he will refuse to answer questions on the next stage as that would dilute the Government’s messaging. Guido’s not convinced that line will or should hold. When it comes to Robinson’s earlier question “do you think I should stop asking questions about this?”, the answer seems to be an emphatic yes…

mdi-timer 16 April 2020 @ 09:01 16 Apr 2020 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nick Robinson on the benefits of Today boycott by ministers…

Nick Robinson on the benefits of the Today boycott by ministers…

“The ministerial boycott has actually been welcomed by many, who say it’s made for a better listen. To be fair to politicians, I think that is a comment on us as much as them.”

mdi-timer 5 March 2020 @ 11:18 5 Mar 2020 @ 11:18 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nicky Morgan Hints at BBC Licence Fee Reform

Speaking to Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast this week, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan hinted that substantial reform for the national broadcaster might be just around the corner. Morgan said that the funding of the BBC is an issue that increasingly comes up on the doorstep: “why do I pay my licence fee, I don’t watch it, I don’t agree with it.” She went on to hint that scrapping the archaic licence fee was on the table going forward…

“This is the start of a process… people outside politics expect politicians to ask those questions, not just go ‘it’s all fine'”

Guido can’t wait…

mdi-timer 24 January 2020 @ 15:00 24 Jan 2020 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Burgon Claims Questioning Labour’s £58 Billion WASPI Payout is ‘Cheap Politics’


Guido readers will be delighted to know Richard Burgon had another media round this morning. When questioned by Nick Robinson as to why Labour have a WASPI pension policy to give people like Theresa May, Dianne Abbott and Harriet Harman £20,000, Burgon hit back saying it was a cheap argument.

Robinson had to remind the esteemed former-solicitor that £58 billion isn’t, in fact, cheap…

mdi-timer 27 November 2019 @ 09:04 27 Nov 2019 @ 09:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
UnFacts: Pro-Remain “Fact-Based” Website Keeps Getting It Wrong

Readers will remember InFacts, the unfortunately-named “fact-based” anti-Brexit website which was repeatedly slapped down by the press regulator for talking rubbish. InFacts‘ latest target is the BBC, which it reckons gives Brexiters an easy ride (yes, really). They have published a blog post castigating Nick Robinson for letting comments by Jeremy Hunt during a Today programme interview “pass unchallenged”. They say Robbo is “usually robust” but accuse him of “clearly wanting to talk about the NHS and Tory rebellion in parliament, rather than go over old ground”. They rule that Nick failed to “find a way to stamp on inaccurate or misleading statements”. Just one problem: Nick Robinson had nothing to do with the interview. It was conducted by Justin Webb.

Then InFacts‘ swivel-eyed founder Hugo Dixon accused Theresa May of failing to call out the threats against MPs. Except she did the day before Dixon’s tweet, and he was forced to issue a correction:

If you are going to call your website InFacts and boast about how you are a “journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case against Brexit”, you should probably make sure you get your basic facts right. Guido has seen supposedly respectable people like the Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant promote InFacts recently – an error of judgment on his part. InFacts are cranks, but worse than that, they just aren’t very good…

mdi-timer 18 December 2017 @ 11:29 18 Dec 2017 @ 11:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brexit Twitter Sentiment Analysis: Robbo Not Neutral

Data Guido has been hidden away in a dark room, crunching the numbers to see whether our top broadcast journalists really are impartial on Brexit. Yesterday we analysed Robert Peston’s relentlessly negative Twitter feed, categorising his tweets as having either a positive sentiment about Brexit (not many), a negative sentiment about Brexit (82%), or being neutral. Today it’s the turn of the BBC’s Nick Robinson…

  • Robbo has sent 157 tweets about Brexit since 24 June 2016.
  • 3 tweets had a positive sentiment, that’s just 2% of his total tweets.
  • 65 tweets were neutral, that’s 41%.
  • 89 tweets were negative, that is 57% of his total Brexit tweets having a negative sentiment.

You’d surely expect a Beeb man to be neutral, yet only 41% of Robbo’s Brexit tweets have a neutral sentiment. The overwhelming majority of Robbo’s tweets about Brexit – 57% – had a negative sentiment. As you can see above it is the stories and quotes he chooses to report that give the game away – negative quote after negative quote from France, Brussels, George Osborne and other Remainers. By contrast he has sent only three tweets with a positive Brexit sentiment since the referendum. Nothing listeners of the Today programme didn’t know already. Stay tuned for more Brexit Twitter sentiment analysis tomorrow…

mdi-timer 13 September 2017 @ 13:05 13 Sep 2017 @ 13:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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