Great Britain

David Dimbleby accused Boris Johnson of lying in his bid to scrap BBC licence fee

BBC veteran David Dimbleby has reportedly launched a scathing attack on “lying” Boris Johnson’s “pernicious” attempt to curb the BBC licence fee.

The broadcaster accused the Prime Minister of using the issue to undermine the corporation and avoid having his policies scrutinised.

The 82-year-old said Mr Johnson “doesn’t give a damn” about fairness because his landslide election victory had made him “arrogant with power”.

He added that the Prime Minister’s conduct towards the BBC was “childish, peevish and unpleasant”, the Daily Mail reported.

Dimbleby reportedly said that the PM was “apeing Donald Trump” by using the same “political rulebook” to try to control the media.

The former Question Time host also took a fierce sideswipe at Mr Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, seen as the driving force behind Downing Street threats to cut the licence fee – or scrap it altogether.

Dimbleby said: “Johnson’s never governed anything, Cummings has never governed anything.

“They’re ignorant… floundering. I don’t think they have a strategy.”

His comments were disclosed after Downing Street mooted a radical overhaul that could mean introducing a subscription model, forcing the sale of most BBC radio stations, cutting the number of TV stations and reducing the amount of online content.

Dimbleby was interviewed by Germany’s state ARD TV channel in which he said the BBC was “under threat in a way it has never been before”.

But he went much further in remarks made in the long interview with ARD that were not broadcast.

A transcript of the full interview shows he reportedly launched a personal attack.

According to the transcript he said: "Nobody trusts Boris Johnson.

"Who could trust Boris Johnson? He lies everywhere to everyone. He lies to his family. He just makes it up, you know.

“Johnson is apeing some of the attitudes of Trump. He is a different kind of political animal, like Trump, very similar rulebook. If you are like that the one thing you don’t want is people questioning what you’re doing, which is why he won’t let his ministers go on television or any serious programme.”

A spokeswoman for Downing Street declined to comment on the interview when contacted by The Sun.

BBC licence fee ‘set to be scrapped and replaced with subscription service’

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