Andrew Neil’s long list of paid ‘interests’ puts his interrogation of Corbyn in a whole new light

Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn
Tracy Keeling

Andrew Neil has faced criticism for his interview with Jeremy Corbyn on 26 November. The BBC host has come under fire for “conflating” different sorts of debt while confronting the Labour leader on the party’s spending policies. The accuracy of Neil’s comments on one example he gave of antisemitism in the Labour Party has also been called into question:

 

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Most of all, people fumed over Neil not giving Corbyn chance to answer questions properly. A look at the journalist’s register of interests, however, makes some sense of him not giving the Labour leader an open platform.

Labour manifesto

Labour’s manifesto is extensive and transformative. Its nationalisation plans could reduce housing, energy, water, transport, and even broadband costs for many people and potentially save the country billions. Meanwhile, the party’s plans for workers, such as a Real Living Wage, higher public-sector wages, scrapping zero-hour contracts, and strengthening union rights would not only protect but embolden workers.

Labour also has a bold plan to resolve the housing crisis. It pledges to build over one million homes, with no less than half of them for social rent. For private renters, which it says amounts to 11 million people, it promises:

We will take urgent action to protect private renters through rent controls, open-ended tenancies, and new, binding minimum standards

These policies would potentially benefit millions of Britons. But landlords who make a mint out of tenants, highly-paid bosses of poorly-paid workers, and mega-corporations profiting from the current government’s outsourcing of public services would likely lose the sort of profit margins they currently enjoy.

Elitists and landlords

Effectively, the elite aren’t catered to in Labour’s manifesto; the people are. And Neil is among Britain’s elites. As the New Statesman reported in April:

thanks to his work for the BBC and Press Holdings and his chairmanship of ITP Media Group, which owns more than 60 magazines across the Middle East, he is a multi-millionaire. His private company boasts net assets of £8.8m and cash-in-hand of more than £900,000, according to the latest accounts. He and his Swedish wife Susan Nilsson, whom he married in 2015 and who is more than 20 years his junior, are the sole directors and shareholders. He has a flat in Chelsea, west London, a New York apartment, and a seven-bedroom house in the south of France, complete with gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi and satellite TV in every room.

Meanwhile, the journalist’s list of interests, published on parliament’s website, shows he doesn’t stray far from elitist circles in his work. He is, for example, the chairman of the Addison Club. The New Statesman says this is a “dining and networking group” that’s invited the likes of Michael Gove and Arron Banks to join them on occasion.

The interests list also details what events Neil has spoken at, chaired, hosted, and received fees for between August 2018 and July 2019. The BBC presenter gave speeches to investment company Jeffries, asset management company Vanguard, the Annual Conference of Insurance Brokers, and HSBC, among many others. And he gave speeches for entities connected to the housing market, such as property advisers Christie & Co and estate agent Knight Frank. Meanwhile, he was chair at a conference for the UK Landlords’ Federation.

Neil has the longest list of interests of all the journalists featured on the parliament register.

Half empty or full?

It’s generally understood that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas (i.e. that elites aren’t going to welcome a government that hands power (and money) back to ordinary people). What’s less commonly understood is that many who work in the mainstream media, or own it, are the elite too. Even less recognised is that, if the elites could look past their own short-term financial interests, there’s a lot in a people-centred policy approach to government that could benefit them too: a happier, healthier workforce and better infrastructure for their companies and employees to use, to name a couple.

But given the reaction to Labour’s platform, Britain’s elites don’t appear to be that forward-thinking. So any reaction to Corbyn and his party’s ideas should be seen in that light – including Neil’s interrogation.

Featured image via the BBC

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  • Show Comments
    1. Is it my imagination or is Neils seat a couple of inches higher than Corbyns?
      I’d never seen Neil in profile before, it’s not a good look. Don’t think that gym gets much use.

    2. Andrew Neil may be fat, so what? He’s an excellent interviewer and gives everyone a hard ride no matter what their party or views. Corbyn came out looking like an idiot because he is one, a very dangerous idiot.

      1. Did you not get the memo? It’s everyone’s fault but Mr Corbyn’s that he can’t give a straight answer to a straight question. (And Mr Johnson will be just the same)

        1. TB665 – BoJo has declined participating in a Leader’s debate on Channel 4 too. He is totally and utterly reliant on the BBC and the Mainstream media to cover for his lies, his unpopularity, his Racism, Sexism and Islamophobia plus the fact to cover for the fact he is a mumbling, fumbling idiot of the first order. So, he is totally incapable of running an open, transparent, honest campaign chosing again and again to lie, to avoid scrutiny, to avoid interviews and debates which will show him for what he is and as such, given all of this, is now totally reliant on Rupert Murdoch, the BBC, the ITV and SKY to run a negative campaign against JC and the Labour Party to mask the real issues of the state this Country is i n following 10 years of a Tory Government.

          JC has the soul of a warrior and the heart of a Lion to withstand the past 5 years of a malicious, vicious, personal and sustained MSM campaign against all of which has been proven to be untrue. BoJo, he is a coward, a patholgocial liar, a fraud and a cheat who has total contempt for the UK and its population. He is a weak, dishonourable coward compared to a man of integrity, honour and decency that is JC.

      2. SJW – sorry, JC did not come out looking at an idiot, he came out with dignity, integrity and as someone who answered questions with straight answers until of course, Neil shouted over him to drown out the positive messages and responses in those answers. However, SJW, what about BoJo eh? Has now dodged or declined so many televised debates (including one for the Conservative Leadership) that he is able to avoid in-depth scrutiny. Thank God for Social Media. What is better to attend an interview (that was msirepresented to JC’s team as being on the basis that BoJo had a scheduled interview date next week which has now been shown to be a total falsehood) and answer questions put to you in the most honest way if you are given the chance by an extreme Right Wing Reporter to provide a full response, or to chicken out of any debates to prevent having your lies exposed and to prevent in-depth scrutiny.

        I suggest the former is far more courageous than the latter and far more honest.

        1. No he really did come out looking like an idiot and where is the integrity in not apologising for anti-Semitism? This fool wants the country to apologise to all and sundry for stuff going back hundreds of years. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

            1. In what way do I sound desperate? “Back under your rock ” sounds desperate, saves you sticking your fingers in your and going lah lah lah every time someone dares to point out something bad about your deeply flawed messiah.

      1. Levi…….bojo didn’t even risk getting ‘shown up’. Wonder why and what your reaction would be when he was. (Like the last time).
        It’s heartening though that you know the difference between a Marxist and a Socialist, so many trolls don’t.
        Blessed be.

      2. SJW…..our comment stream has been closed but I’ll say you sound desperate because you don’t add anything to the conversation….and your resorting to the old AS myth confirms your desperation.

        1. Oh yes it’s a myth, of course. Why are the Labour party always talking about doing all they can, albeit with little action, to stamp it out. They have acknowledged it, why can’t you?

          1. It’s not the labour party who keep harping on about it, it is used as distraction and a smokescreen by their opposition to smother talk of labour party plans for a future government. Jewish organisations opposing Corbyn are given acres of air time whilst contrary Jewish voices are unreported or insulted by their peers as ‘useful idiots’.
            The Labour party is at least trying to stamp out racism, shame that Boris’s tory party can’t do the same.

    3. I t was impolite to say deluded, but being fooled by money, and class seems to be an issue. Corbyn looks like he has to suffer through an irrational social abuse which is in disagreement with Andrew Neil’s view. I’m sure anyone in the NHS would understand what is happening here.
      The fact Neil keeps bringing up the heinious antisemitic smear which is truly a falsehood to fool people’s good nature into something twisted shows what kind of individual he is.

      1. …and today we hear that Steven Pollard and the Jewish Chronicle have been called out by IPSO for their false accusations of AS involving a Labour activist from Ellmans Wavertree constituency. Wonder if beeb and sky will be mentioning this. IPSO went out of their way to stress how unco-operative the JC had been. Wonder why.

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