Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, has accused the Prime Minister of threatening to close the Corporation down after dismissing one of its news stories as “rubbish”.
Robinson said the threat had been made on the election battle bus when, he was told, David Cameron said:
I’m going to close them [the BBC] down after the election.
While some other journalists had regarded the comment as a joke, Robinson told The Guardian that BBC staff had interpreted it as a veiled threat, regarding Cameron’s words “as yet another bit of pressure”. His claims were categorically denied by No 10.
"What really matters is the impact it has on other people,” Robinson said. “Some people on the bus regarded it as funny but they generally didn’t work for 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’.
“The difference, of course, is that the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister. We didn’t know at the time that he would carry on but, given that was a possibility, given the timing of Charter renewal… it’s quite a thing to say.”