Boris Johnson: 'Next BBC Boss Should Be A Tory'

14/05/2012 10:13 | Updated 14 May 2012

The BBC is "overwhelmingly biased to the Left" and should be run by a Conservative, Boris Johnson has said.

Writing in his Daily Telegraph column on Monday, the Mayor of London said the broadcaster's next boss should be someone who was "free-market" and "pro-business".

"We need someone who knows about the work ethic, and cutting costs. We need a Tory, and no mucking around. If we can’t change the Beeb, we can’t change the country," he said.

Harriet Harman, Labour's Shadow Culture Secretary, has said Johnson should "keep out of it".

"The whole point of the Director General of the BBC is that they are neutral. He clearly thinks he can interfere with the BBC" she said.

The current BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has said he will step down in the Autumn.

Johnson said he felt his chief opponent in his successful campaign to be re-elected London Mayor was the local BBC news channel.

"The prevailing view of Beeb newsrooms is, with honourable exceptions, statist, corporatist, defeatist, anti-business, Europhile and, above all, overwhelmingly biased to the Left," he said.

Johnson said the corporation treated eurosceptic views as "if they were vaguely mad and unpleasant" and "completely ignored" the private sector.

Outgoing BBC director general Mark Thompson has said the corporation was guilty of a "massive bias to the left" in the past. He told the New Statesman that staff were "quite mystified" by the rise of Margaret Thatcher but now there was "less overt tribalism" among its journalists.

A BBC News spokesman told HuffPost UK that the broadcaster rejects Johnson's "assertions of bias".

"Our approach means asking difficult questions of politicians, businesses and unions alike. People with trenchant views often find this process uncomfortable but our audience expects us to challenge those in power as well as those who seek it" the spokesman added.

Ian Austin MP says he hasn't noticed any pro-Labour bias in the BBC.

Some have reacted with scepticism to Johnson's claim of BBC bias. Paul Lewis pointed out that the Mayor himself is 'funded by taxpayers'.

Others have responded by pointing out the fact that the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chris Patten, used to be a Tory minister.

Boris Johnson Looking Silly

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