LONDON (Bywire News) - The BBC's Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, attended a private meeting with Boris Johnson's then Special Advisor, Dominic Cummings, alongside the BBC Director General in October 2020, a recently released transparency document has reveal.
From September to December 2020, both Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, and the PM's then Communications Director, Tim Cain, held a raft of private meetings with senior figures from the UK's right-wing press and the BBC.
In this 3-month period, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally met for "General Discussions" with the likes of:
- Daily Mail Owner, Lord Rothermere
- New Corp Owner, Rupert Murdoch
- Daily Mail Editor, Geordie Greig
- News UK, Rebekah Brooks
- The Telegraph Director of Content, Chris Evans
- The Sun Deputy Editor in Chief, Keith Poole
- The Sun Editor, Victoria Newton
- The Sunday Telegraph Editor, Allister Heath
- BBC Director of News & Current Affairs Fran Unsworth
- BBC Chief Executive Officer, Tim Davie
- The Sunday Times Editor, Emma Tucker
- The Times Deputy Editor, Tony Gallagher
- The Time Editor, John Witherow
- The Spectator, Fraser Nelson
- Daily Express Editor, Gary Jones
- Daily Express Deputy Editor, Mick Booker
- Financial Times, George Parker and Roula Khalaf
Whilst in the same period, the PM's then Special Advisor, Dominic Cummings, privately met with:
- The Times' John Witherow
- BBC Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg
- BBC Director General, Tim Davie
In the same timeframe, the PM's then Communications Director, Lee Cain, also held private meetings with the BBC duo, as well as a number of other high ranking media figures:
- LBC's Nick Ferrari and Tom Cheal
- BBC's Laura Kuenssberg and Tim Davie
- News Corp's David Rhodes
- Daily Express' Mick Brooker
The Transparency Report states that the meetings between the BBC pair and Johnson's advisors were to discuss "the Prime Minister's priorities", and the BBC duo met both Cummings and Cain on the same day - October 15th 2020.
Just two days before Kuenssberg's meetings with Cummings and Cain, the BBC's Political Editor posted a tweet from a "Senior govt source" labelling Keir Starmer as a "shameless opportunist" who was supposedly "playing political games during a global pandemic".
Kuenssberg's "source" then went on to slam the Labour leader for "refusing to vote for" the government's soon-to-be ditched Coronavirus Tier system.
Senior govt source responds to Starmer -— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 13, 2020
'Keir Starmer is a shameless opportunist playing political games in the middle of a global pandemic.
‘He says he wants a national lockdown but he’s refusing to vote for targeted restrictions in areas that need them most.’
As has become routine for the BBC's Political Editor in recent years, her tweet quoted the senior government source verbatim, and its target was not offered any right of reply before publication.
Whilst the majority of the public know that the right-wing media has always been on the Tories' side, the supposedly impartial BBC has also become mired in accusations of bias towards Boris Johnson's government in recent years - with the issue coming to a head during the 2019 General Election when the corporation was forced to apologise for numerous editorial "mistakes", all of which just happened to benefit the Conservative Party.
Kuenssberg herself was at the centre of a number of these controversies, most notably when she spread an outright lie to her 1m Twitter followers about a Labour activist supposedly punching a Tory advisor. A video later revealed that the Tory advisor had simply walked into the activist's arm.
Following Johnson's thumping victory in the 2019 General Election, the PM used his increased power to install two Tory cronies at the top of the BBC - Tim Davie, a former Tory politician, as Director General, and Richard Sharp, a man who has donated £400,000 to the party, as Chairman.
[Writing by Tom D. Rogers, editing by Jessica Miller.]