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PLATELL’S PEOPLE: BBC Emily Maitlis’ version of the truth is so arrogant

What is not to admire, even envy, about BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis?

She is stylish, frighteningly intel-ligent and so sexy that, as one of my friends observed, she could eat your husband for breakfast.

Her interview with Prince Andrew over his relationship with the billionaire child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a masterclass. It was Maitlis at her forensic best. Her subtle but steely interrogation changed the prince’s role in public life forever.

And it enhanced her reputation. She had earned her right to replace Newsnight Rottweiler Jeremy Paxman on the show.

Yet I now wonder if her meteoric career has rather gone to her head. She is attacking her employers for finding her guilty of breaching the BBC’s impartiality rules on and off air. She says the BBC only reprimanded her after they had caved in to political pressure from Downing Street.

What is not to admire, even envy, about BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis? She is stylish, frighteningly intel-ligent and so sexy that, as one of my friends observed, she could eat your husband for breakfast

The most serious charge against her is that in May last year, before the facts had been established, she declared in a monologue on Newsnight that ‘Dominic Cummings broke the rules’ after his visit to Barnard Castle during the first lockdown. She added: ‘The country can see that and it’s shocked the Government cannot.’

Many of us may have shared that view, but it is not the role of any BBC presenter to express their own opinion. Her sneering treatment of the Leave supporting columnist Rod Liddle in a Newsnight Brexit debate was also a disgrace.

Yet Maitlis will not admit she is in the wrong and insists on her right to what she calls her ‘editorial independence’.

If you want your own independent voice Em, leave the Beeb and join an independent news programme where you can say what you like.

You may be an adored Left-of-centre metropolitan in your own elite social circles, but when you’re presenting a flagship BBC news programme there are rules. And the most important of them is impartiality.

Her interview with Prince Andrew over his relationship with the billionaire child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a masterclass. It was Maitlis at her forensic best. Her subtle but steely interrogation changed the prince’s role in public life forever

Her interview with Prince Andrew over his relationship with the billionaire child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a masterclass. It was Maitlis at her forensic best. Her subtle but steely interrogation changed the prince’s role in public life forever

Yet Maitlis will not admit she is in the wrong and insists on her right to what she calls her ‘editorial independence’. If you want your own independent voice Em, leave the Beeb and join an independent news programme where you can say what you like

Yet Maitlis will not admit she is in the wrong and insists on her right to what she calls her ‘editorial independence’. If you want your own independent voice Em, leave the Beeb and join an independent news programme where you can say what you like

That is and has always been the point of the BBC — its cornerstone. Throughout its history and throughout the world, its reputation stands or falls on whether viewers and listeners can access news free of prejudice.

The BBC is there to present the truth, not Emily Maitlis’s version of truth. And no ego, not even one as big as hers, should be allowed to jeopardise that reputation.

She refuses to apologise for her breaches of impartiality and instead continues to defend them.

That’s the kind of blind arrogance she revealed in Prince Andrew during her sensational interview.

SWOONING POOL 

Italian swimming sensation Gregorio Paltrinieri looks so divine out of the pool, I can almost forgive the Italians for beating us in the Euro finals

Italian swimming sensation Gregorio Paltrinieri looks so divine out of the pool, I can almost forgive the Italians for beating us in the Euro finals

While many eyes will be on the bikini-bottomed beach volleyball ladies in Tokyo, mine will be on the 1,500m freestyle world record holder, Italian swimming sensation Gregorio Paltrinieri. He looks so divine out of the pool, I can almost forgive the Italians for beating us in the Euro finals. 

JUSTICE HAS GONE TO SLEEP 

Families of the seven people killed and more than 50 injured in the Croydon tram disaster are rightly demanding a new inquiry after a jury rejected a verdict of unlawful killing.

The tram was travelling at 45mph on a tight curve with a speed limit of 12.4mph.

The driver was excused on the grounds he ‘may have temporarily “lost awareness” due to a possible “microsleep” linked to fatigue’.

If I killed seven people losing control of my Audi TT at 45mph in a 20mph zone, I’m sure there would be no ‘microsleep’ get-out-of-jail card.

Our Olympics poster girl sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, insists she’ll take the knee on the podium if she wins.

Dina is a role model — not just as a supreme athlete, but also as the lass from Orpington who won gold at the world championships and got a degree in history from King’s College London along the way.

Whether she’s standing or kneeling, we will all salute Dina’s conviction and courage.

Our Olympics poster girl sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, insists she’ll take the knee on the podium if she wins

Our Olympics poster girl sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, insists she’ll take the knee on the podium if she wins

Before sharing the BBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games with Clare Balding, Gabby Logan poses for a magazine doing the splits and high-kicking something into the distance. Beware, though, Gabby. Splits at 48? No one likes a show-off.

WESTMINSTER WARS

– The Police Federation says it has lost all confidence in Home Secretary Priti Patel after she froze their pay. We might take the cops’ indignation more seriously if they’d been as vocal condemning one of their own senior bosses, Met chief Cressida Dick, who has presided over a catalogue of catastrophes.

– Wolf-whistling could become a crime under laws to protect women and girls against violence from men after the murder of Sarah Everard as she was walking home one night. Ridiculous. Sarah deserves a better legacy than meaningless dog-whistle politics.

– Watching Dominic Cummings calling Carrie Johnson ‘the PM’s girlfriend’ in his latest interview made for uncomfortable viewing. She’s the former Tory Party head of comms, has a serious job and is the PM’s wife and mother of their child, not some bimbo off Love Island.

MARILYN IS STILL IN THE MONEY

The lace top and black skirt Marilyn Monroe wore in 1956 movie Bus Stop has sold at auction to a fan for nearly £300,000, while some of her prescription nasal drops went for £4,000. As Marilyn said: ‘I don’t look at myself as a commodity, but I’m sure a lot of people have.’ And clearly still do. 

The lace top and black skirt Marilyn Monroe wore in 1956 movie Bus Stop has sold at auction to a fan for nearly £300,000

The lace top and black skirt Marilyn Monroe wore in 1956 movie Bus Stop has sold at auction to a fan for nearly £300,000

Perhaps unsurprising from this Godless government that its list of key workers who can avoid isolation if pinged does not include priests, imams or rabbis. They may not stack shelves or work on the NHS frontline, but in these dispiriting times, the hand of faith, of whatever religion, can be a lifesaver. 

The Royal Family shouldn’t be too worried Prince Harry has been writing his bombshell memoirs for over a year. Given he managed two A-levels, a grade B in art and a D in geography, he’s unlikely to have finished his dedication to Meghan. Lucky for him he has Pulitzer prize-winning journalist J. R. Moehringer as co-author to refresh his memory.

When the Duchess of Cambridge started as an amateur photographer, there was much derision. Yet the pictures she has taken marking her kids’ birthdays show the tender eye of a loving mum. This week’s happy, crumpled, gap-toothed George on his eighth birthday is another example. Annie Leibovitz, eat your heart out. 

A shout-out to the 260,000 over-75s, including my beloved neighbour, for refusing to pay their TV licence fee despite threatening letters. As my friend said: ‘I’ll pay the £159 the day they stop paying Gary Lineker £1.36 million for pointing out we lost on penalties, after the game is over.’

PANTS OUTFIT, KANYE

High hopes for the rekindling of the Kim Kardashian and Kayne West marriage as she appears at the launch of his new album and both are wearing matching all-red outfits.

On top of that, West wore what was clearly a pair of fat pants from Kim’s Skims Naked undie collection.

What devotion. Sadly the lardy rapper didn’t wear them around his beer belly, but on his head.

On top of that, West wore what was clearly a pair of fat pants from Kim’s Skims Naked undie collection

On top of that, West wore what was clearly a pair of fat pants from Kim’s Skims Naked undie collection


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