Think the BBC is full of Labour lovies? Think again. What do all these people have in common?
- Guto Harri
- Allegra Stratton
- Robbie Gibb
- Craig Oliver
All were senior BBC News staff. That was before they went on to serve Conservative Party Prime Ministers.
Guto Harri – appointed BBC’s chief political correspondent in November 2002. He left the BBC in 2014 and did a variety of jobs in journalism, until he was appointed as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Director of Communications, from February 2022 – September 2022.
Allegra Stratton – political editor of BBC Newsnight. She went to serve as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Press Secretary from October 2020 until April 2021.
Robbie Gibb – now Sir Robbie Gibb -was head of the BBC’s political programme output before leaving the BBC in July 2017 to become Director of Communications for Prime Minister Theresa May. He held the role from July 2017 until July 2019.
Craig Oliver – now Sir Craig Oliver – Oliver joined the BBC in 2006, where he became editor of BBC One’s Ten O’Clock News, then Six O’Clock News. Oliver was subsequently appointed Controller of English, BBC Global News in April 2010. In February 2011 he left the BBC, and was appointed as Prime Minister David Cameron’s Director of Communications, serving until July 2016.
Don’t forget the BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan. May 2003, Gilligan made a BBC broadcast in which he claimed that the British Government had “sexed up” a report in order to exaggerate the weapon of mass destruction capabilities of Saddam Hussein.
In 2019, he was appointed transport adviser by the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, based in the Downing Street policy unit.
And of course, there’s Richard Sharp: BBC Chairman. Tory donor to the tune of £400,000 and financial anchor for Boris Johnson.
Well observed. Indeed academic Tom Mills in his 2016 book “BBC: Myth of Public Service” observed a long running tendency for the Beeb, across the decades, to bend to the will of the prevailing government in power.. Hence, a somewhat pliant national institution…