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Tory candidate was bow-tie wearing presenter

  • Michael Crick
  • 4 Jun 08, 06:02 PM

howell203.jpgI see that the Conservative candidate in the Henley by-election, John Howell, is describing himself on his early campaign literature as "Previously a presenter for BBC World Service".

My BBC World colleagues here at Millbank had never heard of him, but they made a few enquiries and it turns out that Mr Howell was a business presenter on BBC World around 1994 and 1995.

The most remarkable feature of his presenting work, apparently, was that he used to wear a bow-tie. Click here to see him on BBC Breakfast News.

It looks like the Tory campaign will be something of an ex-BBC operation. Apart from John Howell the Conservative campaign is being run by senior Shadow Cabinet member Chris Grayling, who spent many years working in BBC news.

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I'm sorry if anyone - including the candidate - found my comments unfair, one of the hazards of blogging. I've removed the offending passage.

Personally I have no idea if John Howell was a good presenter or not perhaps the best thing to do is to delve into the BBC archives and find a clip of him of at work - click here.

Wednesday, 4 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Jun 08, 05:03 PM

obama_mccain203.jpgAmerican Elections
We are going to devote a significant proportion of tonight's programme to the most important major political event in the world this year - the contest between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. What difference will it make to America and the world if it is McCain rather than Obama?

Polish
Plus, a Conservative MP with a Polish background has accused the BBC of fuelling racist attacks on Polish immigrants. He says that it's also using Polish immigration as a soft and politically correct way of talking about the overall question of immigration from countries which - unlike Poland - are not predominantly white or Christian.

Does he have a point? We'll be debating this live.

We also hope to be hearing from celebrated artist, David Hockney on art and indecency.


Is the BBC to blame for attacks on Poles?

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Jun 08, 12:58 PM

The BBC is to blame for an increase in attacks on Poles, according to a Conservative MP.

Daniel Kawczynski told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning: "The liberal elite of the BBC are using the Poles as a cat's paw in a politically correct world to talk about immigration because you won't do stories about more controversial immigrants. You always focus on Poles.

"And as a result of that, Mr Humphrys, there are increased attacks on Poles in this country."

Listen to the interview here.

Is the BBC really to blame? Leave your comments below.

Prospects for Wednesday, 4 June

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Jun 08, 11:08 AM

From today's output editor, Robert Morgan:

Good morning everyone,

The US election gun has been fired. It's to be Obama versus McCain. Peter and Ben are in Washington. Let's discuss how we do the story today.

There are a few other stories around today. There's the Polish attacks story, PMQs, Darling's evidence on 10p tax to the Treasury Select Committee, another 42 day meeting of Labour backbenchers tonight, the future of the NHS, and David Hockney's latest outburst.

Playout? Mel Ferrer?

Robert

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