The government has now boycotted BBC Newsnight for two months

The government has now refused to send a representative on BBC Newsnight for two months.

Ministers have stood up the flagship BBC current affairs programme throughout the coronavirus lockdown – avoiding a grilling from the show’s presenters.


One of these presenters, Emily Maitlis, tweeted last night to point out that two months had gone by since the government’s last appearance. She emphasised the show remains “happy to make the approach – and ever hopeful.”

And this isn’t a one-off from the government.

The Tories have caused a stir in recent weeks for refusing to send a minister to appear on Good Morning Britain, hosted by Piers Morgan.

Prior to this boycott, Morgan had been giving ministers a daily haranguing for their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, the government has also stood up Channel 4 News for months – a programme that has a long-running underlying feud with Boris Johnson’s government.

However, regardless of what the government thinks of various programmes, it has a duty to put up representatives for scrutiny. We live in a democracy, and Dominic Cummings would do well to remember that.