Does he have a favourite historical dictator — Stalin, perhaps, or Mussolini? “Maggie’s gone,” he says. Then he pauses and continues, thoughtfully: “In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people able to get things done.”
This, for obvious reasons, caused a lot of upset. Ecclestone is now in full damage limitation mode, penning an apology for today’s Times and also saying sorry in a conversation with the Jewish Chronicle. Intriguingly, Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, reports that Peter Mandelson has been offering Ecclestone advice on how to deal with the situation. One wonders why he is doing that.