Boris Johnson Told to ‘Stop Talking’ in Tense Interview With BBC
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was told to stop talking by a BBC interviewer when he tried to steamroller his way through a tense radio encounter on Tuesday.
Appearing on the BBC’s flagship morning news show for the first time in two years, Johnson’s long-winded and evasive answers on fuel and food shortages and the rising cost of living eventually prompted presenter Nick Robinson to intervene.
“Prime minister, you are going to pause,” Robinson said. “Prime minister, stop talking. We are going to have questions and answers not where you merely talk if you wouldn’t mind.”
Johnson eventually let the interviewer make his question and then made repeated references to the exchange during the rest of the conversation.
Johnson and his Conservative Party have a tense relationship with the U.K. state broadcaster, which has been accused of anti-Brexit bias by the right-wing press.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, a longtime ally appointed by Johnson in last month’s cabinet shake-up, said Monday at a fringe meeting at the party’s annual conference that discussions over maintaining the BBC’s budget are on hold until it tackles what she called ‘groupthink’ in its ranks. She said the BBC, which dominates British TV, doesn’t represent the working class.
“We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people,” she said.
Much of the BBC’s funding comes from an annual 159-pound ($216) fee levied on everyone in the U.K. who watches live television or streams content from the BBC. The Times newspaper reported in August that ministers won’t allow this fee to rise in line with inflation, effectively cutting the BBC’s budget.
Dorries met with BBC Director General Tim Davie last week.
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