BBC should be run by the Tories, adds London Mayor
BORIS JOHNSON has once again leapt to the defence of the Rupert Murdoch empire, this time during an outburst against the BBC.
Earlier this month it emerged that the London Mayor had been trying to build a Rupert Murdoch Academy in east London. Now Johnson has labelled the BBC "dishonest" for daring to report on the daily revelations from the Leveson Inquiry, which is investigating a whole host of illegal and corrupt practises at Murdoch's disgraced News International company.
"In all its lavish coverage of Murdoch, the BBC never properly explains the reasons why [it] wants to shaft a free-market competitor," said Johnson in his Daily Telegraph column today.
"This basic dishonesty is spotted by the electorate; it's one of the reasons real people are so apathetic about the Leveson business."
Johnson also accused the BBC of bias against himself during the build-up to his victory in the recent Mayoral election.
"I speak as one who has just fought a campaign in which I sometimes felt that my chief opponent was the local BBC news," he said.
This despite the fact that the BBC, following the lead of Johnson's team, chose to make rival candidate Ken Livingstone's tax affairs the central topic of the Mayoral campaign and that one of Johnson's own key press officials, Guto Harri, was previously a BBC reporter covering London.
While Hari is now rumoured to be going off to work for Murdoch, the BBC's Tory contingent remains a strong one: the Beeb's main TV news political reporter is Nick Robinson, former President of a student Tory club; the anchor of the Daily Politics programme, Andrew Neil, is an ex-Murdoch employee, and the host of the flagship Question Time show is David Dimbleby, well known for his anti-union stance.
Johnson ended his column with what amounts to a call for the BBC to become the broadcast department of the Tory Party.
"The Government [should] appoint someone to run the BBC who is free-market, pro-business and understands the depths of the problems this country faces," he said.
"We need a Tory, and no mucking around. If we can't change the Beeb, we can't change the country."