Thursday, 9 October 2008

Humph wasting Boris Johnson's time on Radio Four

Now I'm all for Boris Johnson being questioned as often as possible, but can somebody explain to me what the point of this morning's interview on the Today programme was?

According to Dave Hill, the Mayor was all but dragged into the studio to answer questions on the departure of Ian Blair. 

So did the BBC have some new killer angle or exclusive information to put to the Mayor? Apparently not.

What we actually got was almost ten minutes of Humphreys asking ever-varied versions of 'why did you sack him?' until most listeners (and presumably Boris) lost the will to live.

I mean it's not like there aren't plenty of other questions they could have asked the man.


ch paul said...

To be fair to the BBC they did ask him one other question on the subject of TfL's investment in an Icelandic bank.

Boris replied that:

'Tfl has £14 million in an icelandic subsidiary."

That would be £40 million then Boris.

Anonymous said...

If they weren't able to question him properly on Today program, look to what BBC can reveal today in regards to Boris Johnson's role what more looked like threatening from Johnson's side if he didn't get his will through:
"Meanwhile, Home Office minister Lord West of Spithead said Mr Johnson hadthreatened to tell the media he had no confidence in Sir Ian unless he resigned.

He told peers at question time: "As I understand it, the mayor said to the commissioner: 'If you don't go I will find someone to ask me a question, with the media there, as to whether I have confidence in you and if they do I will say I I haven't'."

Lord West also claimed he had seen a letter from Mr Johnson which contradicted the mayor's claim on BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he did not want a long gap before a replacement was appointed.

He said: "I have seen a letter from him, which I won't quote, in which he does say that he wants to extend that time.

The minister also described Mr Johnson's decision to ask Sir Ian to resign as "a very quick knee-jerk reaction. It was not sensible and should not have been done."

Something tells me that this case is far from over.

chris said...

Humphreys has had his day. Time to bring out the big guns and hire Vanessa Feltz.

pastyface said...

Lord West of Spithead

That can't be real. There is no way on earth you would want to call yourself 'spithead'.

Interesting though.

Boris's tactic of just talking until the interviewer gives up is very annoying. I thought Humph was very poor this morning in dealing with him.

The Troll said...

Yes he's not the easiest person to interview but others have done a good job in the past. Andrew Neil and Paxman come to mind. Riz Lateef and Feltz do not.

Dave Hill said...

Entirely agree about the Today interview.

The Alan West intervention in the Lords today deserves more attention I think. It followed the leak earlier today of Jacqui Smith's letter of reply to Boris re. the appointment of Ian Blair's successor. Is the Home Office fighting back a bit dirty over who bosses the Met?

By the by, West's comments, as reported, do lose some of their force when he talks about a letter from Boris that he says he shouldn't really mention. It sounds very much as though he's referring to the letter from Boris that Smith replied to, one the entire world has a copy of - or am I mistaken?

angelneptunestar said...

I thought Boris was sublime this morning. It is a really good tactic to talk your interrogator to death.

Some interviewers just love to ask the same question over and over and over, they think it looks butch. Remember Paxo asking Boris about the Routemaster twelve times?

David Cameron is really funny when someone is interviewing him aggressively, he just acts like it isn't happening. It totally took the wind out of Paxo's sails.

The Troll said...

Dave - It does sound like he's referring to the now public letter in which Boris advises that care and time should be taken over choosing the replacement.

There may be another letter of course, but I find it difficult to believe that Boris would be so stupid as to publicly write to the government stating that he wants to wait until the next election before finding a permanent replacement.

I wouldn't rule it out however. The other part of West's statement does sound credible, although you have to remember that he said it with the benefit of parliamentary privilege.

Whatever the truth, the questions don't look like they will be going away any time soon.

Dave Hill said...

I started the day solemnly proclaiming that it was time to move on from trying to dig out exactly what was said at that legendary meeting. I've ended it by trying to dig out what was said at that legendary meeting. Time for bed, I think.

Rob said...

When considering Lord West's intervention, it's worth remembering he is but a "simple sailor", so his words might not have come out as he meant.

As was the case when he said in relation to terror detention, "I still need to be fully convinced that we absolutely need more than 28 days".

Which he clarified half an hour later by adding: "I am quite clear ... we will need the power to detain certain individuals for more than 28 days"

The Troll said...

That certainly wasn't his finest hour.

Tom said...

Simple sailor my arse - he was instrumental in leaking details of Tory navy cuts in the 1980s by 'dropping them on a river bank' when a journalist happened to be walking past. The top brass were so unimpressed with this lax attitude to security they made him an Admiral.

Spithead, as any fule kno, is a name strongly associated with the Royal Navy, so not awfully surprising he chose that. Perhaps Boris will reconsider his views on revering and looking after our veterans? Will Lord West lose his free bus pass?