Mair grilled Johnson on reports he had ‘sandpapered’ quotes as a reporter
Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s father has hit out at the BBC after a “bruising” interview with Eddie Mair on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.
Stanley Johnson called the interview
an example of “disgusting” journalism.Speaking on LBC Radio on Monday morning, Johnson Sr told presenter Nick Ferrari: "His grilling people about their personal lives, accusing them of guilt by association, openly abusing them in a legitimate interview. Frankly, I don't know where we are coming to.”
"I have no idea who Eddie Mair is or what he does. But frankly, there is such a thing as respecting the office, even if you don't respect the man and that did not come through."
Johnson Sr, a former Tory MEP, described Mair's interview as a "travesty" and suggested he would not have "openly abused" Labour leader Ed Miliband in the same way.
Mair had challenged the London Mayor over reports he had made up quotes while working as a journalist at The Times newspaper and helped a friend gain the address of a reporter he wanted to have assaulted.
Johnson admitted both charges.
Viewers and political commentators have dubbed the interview a “bicycle crash.”
But Johnson himself has welcomed the interview.
Speaking in London on Monday, Johnson Jr said: "Eddie Mair did a splendid job. There is no doubt that is what the BBC is for – holding us to account.”
"I fully concede it wasn't my most blistering performance, but that was basically because I was set to talk about the Olympics and housing in London and he wanted to talk about other things, some of them -- my private life and so on -- of quite some antiquity, the details of which I wasn't brilliant on.”
"He was perfectly within his rights to have a bash at me – in fact it would have been shocking if he hadn't. If a BBC presenter can't attack a nasty Tory politician what's the world coming to?”
Eddie Mair is just one of a handful of hosts standing in for Andrew Marr while he recovers from a life-threatening stroke.