Blair was hell-bent on destroying the BBC, claims correspondent

November 14th, 2007 - 1:49 am ICT by admin  
Simpson was quoted by The Scotsman as saying that Blair was hell-bent on punishing the national broadcaster for exposing the “dodgy dossier” he had used as justification for Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war.

The award-winning reporter also claimed that Blair’s spokesman Alastair Campbell routinely attempted to intimidate BBC editors by making foul-mouthed and menacing tirades against them.

Simpson, who has worked for the BBC for 40 years, fears the damage done to the corporation during the Blair years was so great that it may eventually be forced to ditch its non-commercial status and introduce advertising.

Simpson said: “Few Prime Ministers in my 40 years have done as much damage to the BBC as Tony Blair and his head of communications, Alastair Campbell.

“Blair gave the appearance of doing everything he could to appease and propitiate the Murdoch group, which includes Sky and noisily anti-BBC British newspapers. Certainly his Government put immense pressure on the BBC to suppress coverage that it didn’t like. Blair began a process which, unless it is checked, seems in the end likely to destroy the BBC as the world’s most powerful, independent broadcaster,” Simpson added.

“The only way to deal with this kind of pressure is to show toughness in reply,” he said. (ANI)

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