David Dimbleby says Emily Maitlis’ mistake was to pass on her Newsnight monologue as a “controversy”.

Former Question Time host, 83, also rejected the BBC’s suggestion that there was a ‘secret society’ of Conservative supporters in the governorship.

Maitlis, who left the BBC earlier this year, used MacTaggart’s talk at this week’s Edinburgh TV Festival to announce the company’s ‘pampering’ number 10 following her 2020 segment on Dominic Cummings’ lockdown trip to Durham. I tried,” he said, quickly apologizing.


Emily Maitlis gave this year’s MacTaggart lecture (Jane Barlow/PA)

The broadcaster received more than 20,000 complaints, ruling that Maitlis and the Newsnight team violated the rules of impartiality, saying in a statement:

Dimbleby said on BBC Radio 4 Today: it was a team. Second, I think what she said should have been a question, not a statement.

“The nation can see that Cummings has broken the rules, but is shocked that the government can’t. Well, maybe not everyone was shocked.” is one of anger, contempt, and anguish.” Well maybe, but that’s the question. It was controversial. I think it was a mistake. “

Dimbleby said he didn’t think he was stupid, as many in the country had claimed, but felt “very uncomfortable” with Cummings, who was Boris Johnson’s top adviser at the time. rice field.

Regarding Maitlis’ allegation that the BBC blamed the Newsnight team after complaints from the government, he added: Every bloody morning he gets a call from number 10.

“No matter who is in power, it will always be there. Look at Alastair Campbell – he never gave up on the BBC when Labor was in office.


Dominic Cummings, former Chief Counsel to Boris Johnson (House/PA)

In reference to Theresa May’s former communications director, Sir Robbie Gibb, Maitlis said during the lecture: GB News – Currently serving as an impartiality arbiter for the BBC. “

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Former Editor-in-Chief of HuffPost UK and Deputy Editor of Newsnight, Jess Brammar, was named Executive News Editor for the BBC’s news channel last year.

But her impartiality was called into question after her old tweets criticizing Brexit and Mr Johnson emerged.

Labor has called for Lord Robbie’s removal from the BBC’s board of directors after alleging he tried to block her employment on political grounds.

Dimbleby said: I didn’t think a particular appointment to the news department was right because of a tweet written by Jess Brammer.

“The interesting thing about this is that Jess Brammer was appointed. I don’t know what he actually said, I talked to him about it and he doesn’t say what he actually said.

“They say in return Muriel Gray, who is a Labor loyalist, is there, so that is difficult. .”

A BBC spokesperson previously said:

“As we have previously clarified regarding Newsnight, we did not act as a result of pressure from Number 10 or the government, and it would be wrong to suggest otherwise. and that decision is still valid.”

The BBC’s Chief Content Officer, Charlotte Moore, also commented on the issue: We follow a proper editorial process. It is very important to be able to point out when editorial standards have been violated. But that’s part of maintaining an unbiased news service. “

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