The Daily Telegraph said on Monday that Prime Minister David Cameron said he’d ‘close down’ the BBC after the election.
Conservative Party’s war with the BBC stepped up a notch yesterday after Nick Robinson claimed that David Cameron threatened to “close down” the Corporation.
Mr. Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, said that Mr. Cameron had made the incendiary comments to journalists while travelling on his “battle bus” ahead of the general election.
Mr. Robinson said he was unsure whether the Prime Minister was making a “joke or a threat” – but claimed it was seen as “yet another bit of pressure” by BBC employees.
Mr. Robinson said that while travelling on the bus, Mr. Cameron dismissed a BBC story claiming that he had told Nick Clegg that the Tories would not win a majority as “rubbish” before adding: “I’m going to close them down after the election.”
Mr. Robinson yesterday told The Guardian: “What really matters is the impact it has on other people. Some people on the bus regarded it as funny but they generally didn’t work for the BBC. The people who did [work for the BBC] regarded it as yet another bit of pressure and a sort of sense of ‘don’t forget who’s boss here’.”
Mr Robinson was not on the bus when the alleged comments were made, but said that colleagues had told him about the exchange.
Senior Conservative figures had accused the BBC of “Left-wing bias” in its election coverage. Following the May vote John Whittingdale was made Culture Secretary and given responsibility for renegotiating the BBC’s Royal Charter.
Tory sources claimed that Mr. Cameron had told Mr. Whittingdale to “sort out” the BBC.