Who's the new board member batting for?
Those include, as the Mail on Sunday told at the time, “Sir Robbie Gibb - who was a senior BBC executive before becoming Theresa May’s director of communications at No 10 - is spearheading a drive to raise funds for GB News”. Which would be about what, exactly? "The channel will be a truly impartial source of news, unlike the woke, wet BBC. It will deliver the facts, not opinion dressed up as news”. Which is what he oversaw.
Remember former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil using the Sunday Politics to push climate change denial? Or the infamous Daily Politics orchestration of a shadow ministerial resignation live on air, timed to give Young Dave maximum advantage against Jezza? Well impartial that was. As was touting for cash in order to fund a competitor.
Is it this outfit ...
A Channel 4 News investigation noted that “In a series of late night emails to Mr Gibb, [Arron] Banks described the [Panorama] story as a ‘smear campaign’ and threatened to make a formal complaint … Afterwards, Mr Banks emailed another Leave.EU director, saying: ‘I don’t think they will Run it after all that lot . You will have a busy week next week since Robbie will react by giving us massive exposure”. And there was more.
“In his book about the referendum campaign, Arron Banks recounted the incident, claiming: ‘Robbie Gibb is being quite helpful and says he’s trying to hose it down'”. That, it seems, was the Panorama exposé that never was: investigating illegal behaviour by the two Leave campaigns in the run-up to the 2016 referendum.
... or this one?
No bad Brexit news was, apparently, getting through. Moreover, as James Chapman revealed, “I had dinner with [Robbie Gibb] and others while working [at the Department for exiting the EU] and he had lots of interesting suggestions for how to get more positive Brexit stories on [BBC News]”. What was that about “impartiality”?
Gibb, in the meantime, has been dispensing punditry with the assistance of the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, exemplified by the headline “Tackling BBC bias will be a mammoth task” and his Tweet promoting the article asserting “New BBC staff social media guidelines published today, may be the start of reform but I doubt it will end there and nor should it. The BBC can only justify itself as a publicly-funded broadcaster if it provides something its rivals do not - impartial news and entertainment”.
Robbie Gibb’s problem is that, as a self-declared Thatcherite and ardent Brexiteer, he is bound to view “bias” through that prism. By his own admission, he joined the BBC to correct what he, as a Tory - “not a Chris Patten Tory” though - saw as bias. The result has been shows that benefit the Tories, and take the heat off Brexiteer wrongdoing. That is not rectifying bias. It is introducing bias - by intervention, and indeed censorship.
Now he has been appointed by Bozo and Co to the BBC’s board. Having failed to totally foul up the Corporation last time around, it looks like he’s been awarded a second chance.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at