Joe Lycett says BBC wanted 'different direction' ahead of 'right wing' appearance
Times Radio

A Tory MP has taken aim at the BBC for inviting Joe Lycett on to be a guest on the now infamous debut episode of Laura Kuenssberg’s new BBC politics programme Sunday.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, the Conservative MP for Winchester, Steve Brine, appeared to take issue with the comedian being on the show.

He told those in attendance: “I would say her [Kuenssberg’s] show got off to a challenging start, in terms of major appeal outside of SW1 and on this whole issue of impartiality, by the Joe Lycett debacle, where he was asked on as a pundit.

“He did this mock applause after Liz Truss left the interview chair, was then immediately asked for his reaction and he said, ‘she was the dregs of what they’ve got available and the backwash of the available MPs’.”

During his appearance as a pundit on the show, Lycett, who is known for being highly critical of the Conservative government pretended to be right-wing in order to mock Truss.

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While speaking to parliament, Brine appeared to suggest that the BBC intentionally booked the comedian for that reason.

He said: “How about a conversation that goes on before output, where somebody says, ‘You know what, new show, new start, new term. Let’s not book Joe, because we know what Joe’s going to deliver’.

“You see somebody who’s ungenerous to the BBC could say you know exactly what Joe is going to deliver and that’s why you booked him.”

Some people online pointed out the government’s apparent hypocrisy about championing free speech, but not when it comes to criticism of their own.

One person on Twitter wrote: “We like free speech as long as it’s not annoying to us, satirical, happens when our leader is there, doesn’t fit with our image of a politics show, causes a stir……..”

Someone else argued: “The choice of guests on TV shows has f**k all to do with government. If Tories don’t want to be compared to fascists, they should maybe stop acting like fascists.”

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