Why did the BBC display such craven cowardice over the Cambridge Analytica scandal? What was behind the ambushing of the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr by mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott on The Andy Marr Show™? How did the Beeb end up pushing seriously dodgy items such as the live on-air resignation of a junior shadow minister from Jeremy Corbyn’s team just before Prime Minister’s Questions?
Robbie Gibb, long suspected of malign influence ...
It had long been suspected that the malign influence at work here was Robbie Gibb. His Wikipedia entry spells it out: “Gibb was head of BBC Westminster in overall charge of the BBC’s political programme output - Daily and Sunday Politics, Andrew Marr Show, This Week and Radio 4’s Westminster Hour. Prior to joining the political team at Westminster he was Deputy Editor of BBC2’s Newsnight”. There was more.
... which has now been confirmed by Nick Boles
“During the EU referendum campaign Gibb was editor of The Great Debate at Wembley Arena and Editor of the BBC’s General Election debate during the 2017 General Election”. Also, “Gibb is a long standing Brexiteer”. But did he let that view influence his behaviour, and by implication that of the Corporation’s coverage?
Nick Boles, now exercising the freedom of thought that resigning from the Tory Party brings, was in no doubt. “I am no longer a member of the Conservative Party. So I can be blunt where previously I might have been discreet. The PM’s head of communications Robbie Gibb is a hard Brexiter who wants to destroy the PM’s new search for a cross party compromise”. He screwed the BBC’s reputation. Now he’s trying to screw the country.
Boles continued “The media should be honest about the briefings they receive from that quarter. And the Prime Minister would do well to tell Mr Gibb to get back in his box - or go back to the BBC”. Ms Cadwalladr and Byline Media head Peter Jukes will be reading, inwardly digesting, and nodding slowly to themselves.
It gets worse. As Al Barz mused, “The same Robbie Gibb who was in charge of The Great Debate about The Referendum at Wembley Arena, as well as Newsnight, Andrew Marr Show, Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, This Week, Westminster Hour, basically promoting Nigel Farage from an unknown MEP to a superstar? Him?” Yes, him. Without someone at the BBC enabling him, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage would still be a fringe nobody.
And confirmation of Gibb’s malign influence was not long in arriving. “Nick, you know this is complete bollocks. @RobbieGibb is a bloody good man who wants to deliver on the people’s votes, and the Prime Ministers promise, to leave the European Union. He works with everyone, he discusses with everyone and he is most certainly not destructive” whined Stephen Canning. Who is a liar and a complete shit. Boles is right.
When Canning is the first Tory to leap to your defence, you should know the game is up. Robbie Gibb was known to be a Brexiteer. Nick Boles has confirmed that he is unable, or unwilling, to keep his personal politics separate from his work. The problem for the Beeb is that it now needs someone to put the culture he instilled into reverse. And quickly.
The BBC being captured by Brexiteers explains so much. I’ll just leave that one there.
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