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Ex-BBC chief accuses Blair government of intimidation

The bitter row between the British government and the BBC exploded back into life on Sunday as the BBC’s outgoing head accused the gove...

The bitter row between the British government and the BBC exploded back into life on Sunday as the BBC’s outgoing head accused the government of trying regularly to ‘‘intimidate’’ the state-funded broadcaster.

Throughout the Iraq war, PM Tony Blair’s then-information chief Alastair Campbell would fire off repeated written ‘‘rants’’ complaining about the BBC’s news coverage, former director general Greg Dyke said. ‘‘What Campbell was clearly trying to do was intimidate the BBC so that we reported what he wanted us to report as opposed to what we wanted to report,’’ Dyke told BBC television.

Dyke complained that Judge Hutton had failed to take into account the sheer volume of complaints the BBC received from Campbell, who stepped down as Blair’s chief spin-doctor for personal reasons last year.

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First published on: 02-02-2004 at 12:00:00 am
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