Dominic Cummings row has brought out the worst in the BBC – it’s time to move on


LET me be clear, I am not here to discuss whether Dominic Cummings drove too far to test his eyesight or was wrong to allow his four-year-old son to have a toilet stop.

ANY doubt that Dominic Cummings doesn’t have the full force of the UK’s powerful political establishment up against him was put to bed this week in two jaw-dropping incidents.

First there was the tweet sent from the official UK Civil Service account branding Boris Johnson and his assistant “arrogant and offensive” and adding: “Can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?”

Dominic Cummings had the full force of the UK’s powerful political establishment up against him.

That shows how the machinery behind our antiquated system of government is doing everything it can to ambush this exciting new regime.

Then the BBC’s ridiculously thin veil of being an impartial news organisation was dropped in spectacular fashion.

The corporation’s star news presenter Emily Maitlis – who we are meant to trust to bring us impartial coverage on election nights – delivered a rant on Newsnight that would have made Owen Jones proud.

She stated as fact that Cummings “broke the rules”. According to Durham Police, he “might” have. She then had the temerity to state she was speaking on behalf of the country. She wasn’t.

The Beeb’s news output has become increasingly partisan over the past few years, with Newsnight a hot bed of leftie outrage, especially after the hire of campaigning “reporter” Lewis Goodall who previously worked for a prominent left-wing think tank.

On both these occasions the bias was so obvious and so extreme bosses had to take action.

The Civil Service have launched an investigation into the very telling tweet, but perhaps it was the BBC’s reaction that was most significant.

The Civil Service have launched an investigation into this unauthorised tweet.

At this time yesterday as Boris Johnson was grilled by MPs at the Liaison Committee, they released an extraordinary statement, admonishing Newsnight and Maitlis’ biased rant.

In it, the bosses did something they hate to do: admitting the coverage on BBC2’s flagship news programme did not meet the impartiality required.

The swift response cannot be the end of the matter as it calls into question the entire way Newsnight is run.

Who wrote the left-wing piece of political prose suitable for a Guardian columnist and decided it was fit to broadcast during a news bulletin?

Who then approved it to go to air?

I agree with Boris Johnson that we need to move on from the Cummings scandal.


Did Newsnight’s editor refer the matter to her superiors before broadcast?

And what is going to be done to ensure Newsnight no longer operates as a blatantly anti-Boris Johnson broadcast?

I’m not for a single second calling for anyone to be sacked. If the Dominic Cummings saga proves anything this week it’s that Pitchfork-style protests outside houses and confected social media outrage by liberal journalists should not be allowed to drive good folk out of their jobs any longer.

Of course, Maitlis should be able to ask tough questions of the government like all journalists. But, given she is a news presenter paid out of public funds, we need to know that in future the correct checks and balances are in place.

This has been an unseemly week for our political discourse in this country.

I agree with the Prime Minister that it is now time for his party and previously loyal MPs to move on.

Let the BBC and the opposition eat itself over Dominic Cummings. And let the Prime Minister get back to governing during an unprecedented national crisis.