Yesterday James Duddridge, the Tory backbencher, tabled a motion of no confidence in the Speaker. It comes after John Bercow took the government by surprise on Monday by declaring that President Trump was not welcome to address Parliament on his upcoming state visit. Given that Trump had expressed no desire to do so and several world leaders with questionable human rights records have been welcomed by the Speaker in the past, Bercow’s comments have led to calls for him to resign.
As the row rumbles on, the Beeb have now followed suit and banned Trump from This Week. Explaining the decision, Andrew Neil said that after careful consideration the BBC team had come to the conclusion that Trump was just not welcome on the show — even though he had never asked to be on the show:
‘I appreciate that he’s expressed no interest in doing so anyway, but that won’t stop me doing a bit of grandstanding and virtue signalling before the rest of the media and the wider public.
I’ve taken this position after much serious consideration as to how much free publicity it’s likely to garner me, and without consulting the other place — because frankly what Newsnight does is its own business and he’s never going to settle for BBC2.
Now I know that over the years, we’ve welcomed Vlad the Impaler, Diane Abbott, Adolf Hitler, Ken Livingstone and Transylvania’s very own Count Dracula into this studio, but let me say as a self important, solipsistic, egotistical, preening, pretentious, puffed-up, pompous little pixie in love with the sound of my own voice, this programme’s long-running opposition to sensible debate and proper analysis coupled with a deep commitment to free Blue Nun for all means I would not feel comfortable sharing a sofa on the public airwaves with someone who says what he thinks and has never even had a sip of alcohol in his life.