How Marr Monopolised May

There was much disquiet among rival broadcasters over the weekend when it emerged that Theresa May was doing yet another interview with Andrew Marr. The infamously humourless, bad-tempered Marr Show staff took the criticism from Sky News and co with their usual charm and good grace. The charge: that Marr and Number 10 have sewn up a cosy arrangement to lock out the other, more challenging broadcasters. Guido has had a look back over the last year or so, and it is true that Marr totally monopolises May’s Sunday appearances. The Marr Show routinely – and inexplicably – lets her get away with pre-recorded interviews, completely taking the pressure off the PM and letting her dodge up-to-date, real-time scrutiny. Since the election, May has only done Sunday interviews with Marr, completely shunning every other broadcaster…

15 July 2018 – Marr
17 June 2018 – Marr Pre-rec
4 March 2018 – Marr – Pre-rec
7 January 2018 – Marr – Pre-rec
1 October 2017 – Marr
30 April 2017 – Marr
22 January 2017 – Marr
2 October 2016 – Marr
4 September 2016 – Marr – Pre-rec

30 April 2017 – Peston

8 January 2017 – Ridge

Ridge has been in the penalty box ever since she – rightly – embarrassed May with the Trump “pussy” quote. Remember her face.

Is it healthy for the PM to only speak to one programme, and for that programme to repeatedly give her softball pre-rec interviews? This is a bad look for both Number 10 and Andrew Marr…

UPDATE: BBC insiders suggest these numbers are why politicians favour Marr:

Brown: Corbyn Is A Phase

A very relaxed-looking Gordon Brown gives Corybn a gentle kicking, agreeing that he is “a phase”. Brown continued: “we’re all phases… politicians have a short shelf life in terms of life at the top”. He would know…

Marr: I Don’t Want to Go All Emma Barnett

Marr tells Labour’s Jon Ashworth: “I don’t want to go all Emma Barnett but you’re not answering my questions”. Some might say Emma would be an improvement…

Gauke: Rudd Shouldn’t Resign

Thornberry: I Met “Appalling” Labour Anti-Semite in the Street Last Week

Did she get them kicked out of the party?

Boris: “Extraordinary” to Deny Russian Responsibility For Salisbury Attack

He says the Russians are “demented” for claiming Britain did it…

Jean-Luc Picard ‘Would Have Voted Remain’

Patrick Stewart tells Marr his Star Trek and X-Men characters Jean-Luc Picard and Charles Xavier would have voted Remain. Boris dismisses him as “something to do with Star Wars” and says:

“We’ll be able boldly go again to areas that perhaps we’ve neglected…”

Corbyn Not Yet Convinced Russia Did Salisbury Attack

Not sure who else he thinks it could’ve been…

He also isn’t convinced the Assad regime was responsible for the Douma gas attack either, saying that Assad “or any other group” that carried it out must be confronted with evidence.

There’s a theme here…

Corbyn: I’d Only Back Syria Action If Russia Doesn’t Veto It

Corbyn continues to say intervention in Syria should only take place through the UN. Which Russia has repeatedly vetoed…

Julia Hartley-Brewer Skewers BBC Over Gender Quota

A very pleasing dig at the BBC’s new gender quota for TV guests from Julia Hartley-Brewer on Marr this morning. Julia, who was discussing the gender pay gap story on the sofa alongside Polly Toynbee, said:

“I know obviously that we are making up the gender quota for expert commentators for the BBC today. Nice to be invited for that and not for actually our views but there we are…”

No comeback from Marr…

Saj: We’ll Consult on Extending Stop and Search

Another consultation…

Marr Tells Penny: “That Was Very Good”

Andrew Marr must have thought the cameras had stopped rolling when he gave a thumbs up and whispered “That was very good” to Penny Mordaunt after her interview this morning. He wasn’t wrong though. Made a change to see a Cabinet minister answering questions directly…

Corbyn: Requisition Luxury Properties

Corbyn tells Marr he would “take over” “luxury, glossy, glistening” empty properties owned by rich foreigners. A problem which studies show is greatly exaggerated and over-simplifies the housing crisis. Remember this would be a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, of which Corbyn told Marr a Labour government would remain a part…

Corbyn Lies About His Support For Iran

Corbyn told Marr he had accepted money from the Iranian regime “a very long time ago” – it was 2012 – and that he stopped because of the way they treated the Green movement – that was in 2009, he carried on taking their cash and praising their government for years after. Marr really should have pinned him down on this, Jezza is straight up telling porkies…

Marr’s Review of the Year

A handy recap of the last 12 months, if you can get past the montage of Marr shaking hands with celebs…

Diane Forgets She Backed Second Referendum

Diane Abbott tells Marr Labour has never backed a second referendum, only for Marr to read a quote from her two weeks ago… backing a second referendum. “We’ve never supported a second referendum.” “Well you did…”

McDonnell: Labour Would Accept Any EU Deal

John McDonnell on Marr:

“I will not countenance no deal, I’m not willing to countenance that, I don’t think it’s a realistic option…”

Labour would accept any EU deal, however punishing. Great negotiating tactic guys.

Corbyn: I’m Ready for Another Election

Hammond Blames Brexiteers For Briefing By Remainers

On Marr Phil Hammond claimed the briefing against him in the weekend papers is coming from Brexiteers: “people who are not happy with the agenda that I have tried to advance of ensuring that we achieve a Brexit which is focused of protecting our economy”. Andrew Marr replied “I think you can guess” who that means. This might fit the narrative of Hammond, the BBC and excitable Twitter Remainers, but it isn’t true…

Tim Shipman, the Sunday Times pol ed who received today’s anti-Hammond briefing, has shot down the theory:

“Some will see this as a plot by Brexiteers to undermine the leading remainer in the cabinet. All I can say is that the majority of my sources are not Brexiteers. Others will see a plot by Hammond’s leadership rivals to kill off his chances. Again, my sourcing doesn’t stack that up.”

A Brexiteer plot against Hammond carried out by Remainers? That’s a new one…

McDonnell Backtracks on Vow to Write Off Student Debt

During the election Jeremy Corbyn vowed “I will deal with” those who had the “historical misfortune” of large student debts, promising he would “ameliorate” their situation and write it off.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Paul Goodman as sagacious as ever on Arron’s entryism…

“… one must watch for former UKIP donors and a very few left-of-Party-centre MPs propping each other up, like drunks at the end of a pub crawl. It suits the former to claim the power to organise a programme of mass infiltration. It suits the latter to react by complaining about extremist entryism. The rest of us should keep a cool head.”

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