MPs and listeners have reacted with fury after Steve Bannon was interviewed for 15 minutes on BBC radio this morning.
Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, who has previously rejected claims he is an anti-Semite and described white supremacists as a “bunch of clowns”, appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday.
Throughout the interview he was questioned about Boris Johnson’s premiership and Brexit - but some listeners felt he was not “challenged” enough by interviewer Jon Sopel.
Here's Trump's former campaign manager Steve Bannon's response when @bbcjonsopel asked if he's in contact with British PM Boris Johnson: "Not much... I stay in touch with Nigel Farage... we'll just go with what Boris says" #r4today pic.twitter.com/QTOPNGWvKb
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) July 31, 2019
MPs including Labour backbencher David Lammy and former Plaid Cymru leader were among those questioning the decision by the BBC to carry out the interview.
Mr Bannon was asked whether he is in contact with the Prime Minister, but said: “Not much, he’s Prime Minister, he’s doing his thing...
“I stay in touch with Nigel Farage quite a bit.
“Boris is obviously doing a terrific job...”
Read more from Yahoo News UK:
When pinned down on Mr Johnson’s Brexit stance, Mr Bannon added: “We’ll just go with what Boris says.”
Mr Bannon advocated a no-deal Brexit during the interview, saying: "I've said from the beginning a no-deal, hard out, is the way to go. But is the civil service bureaucracy in London prepared to do that? I don't think so."
Listeners opposed to Mr Bannon took to Twitter to complain about being able to “say whatever he likes freely”.
Why is Steve Bannon an avowed white supremacist, anti semite racist given almost 15 mins uninterrupted airtime on @BBCr4today ? Why was he not challenged on his links to Boris Johnson? Why should I pay my licence fee for this normalising of extremism?
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) July 31, 2019
.@BBCRadio4 continues to give airtime to the #FarRight - item now on a Bannon organised “symposium” on the US / Mexican border. Is anyone surprised to learn that Bannon supports our new Prime Minister? How connected is he into the far right, populist network?
— LeanneWood 🏴 (@LeanneWood) July 31, 2019
Very puzzled why @BBCr4today speak to Steve Bannon and do not ask him about Cambridge Analytica, his role there and links to LeaveEU with current story on it????
— Ian Lucas MP (@IanCLucas) July 31, 2019
Steve Bannon attended a far-right summit with Marine Le Pen and told the audience to "wear racist like a badge of honour". Bannon was Trump's chief strategist when he bought in the Muslim ban. How can #r4today justify giving this avowed racist a platform? https://t.co/b70uzKYnXV
— Dr Zubaida Haque (@Zubhaque) July 31, 2019
Mr Lammy tweeted: "Why is Steve Bannon an avowed white supremacist, anti semite racist given almost 15 mins uninterrupted airtime on Radio 4 Today?
“Why was he not challenged on his links to Boris Johnson? Why should I pay my licence fee for this normalising of extremism?"
Plaid Cymru's Ms Wood added: "Radio 4 continues to give airtime to the far right - item now on a Bannon organised 'symposium' on the US / Mexican border.
“Is anyone surprised to learn that Bannon supports our new prime minister? How connected is he into the far right, populist network?"