BBCs Nick Robinson breaks silence on furious on-air bust-up with Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage clashes with Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4

The BBC’s Nick Robinson has broken his silence on his furious on-air clash with Nigel Farage.

The former Ukip and Brexit Party leader erupted at the BBC Radio 4 presenter after he made a jibe about his failed attempts to become an MP during an interview on the Today programme last week.

Mr Robinson claimed the response to the fiery moment was “entirely predictable”.

Writing in The Spectator, he said: “The response to this exchange was entirely predictable.

“Passionate Leavers heard what they listen to hear every day – evidence that the BBC still hasn’t ‘got over’ Brexit.

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“Ardent Remainers raged that the BBC had once again given Farage the attention he craves.

“Both groups struggle to tell the difference between a legitimate question and a statement of opinion.”

He added: “As it happens, I think Farage has been one of the most influential politicians in my lifetime.

“Farage is also a very accomplished broadcaster and, I suspect, believes he will be more potent (as well as considerably better off) if he campaigns from the studio rather than in Parliament.”

But Mr Robinson appeared to take a veiled swipe at GB News, highlighting an Ofcom probe into the use of politicians as presenters.

He said: “I have yet to meet anyone who wants Britain to have its own version of Fox News, which recently had to pay out more than £600 million for having been shown to knowingly broadcast lies about why Donald Trump lost the last presidential election.”

The politician-turned-broadcaster appeared on the flagship Radio 4 show on Wednesday last week to discuss the row over his Coutts bank account being shut.

But the interview became heated when Mr Robinson asked Mr Farage about suggestions that he was using the de-banking scandal to get back into politics.

The BBC presenter said: “I know you’ve run seven times and lost seven times…”

A livid Mr Farage replied: “I’m really not going to have this. I’m sick to death of your condescending tone.”

Mr Robinson insisted he was “teasing” the Brexit architect.

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Mr Farage hit back: “Actually you weren’t. What you should say to people is ‘you’re the only person in British history who’s won two national elections leading two different parties’.”

The BBC presenter then asked: “Are you coming back then, given your previous success?”

The former MEP said: “No, I’m now a champion and a crusader for men and women who’ve been closed down by the banks and I want cultural changes within the banks and I want legal changes.”

Mr Robison again insisted he was “teasing” Mr Farage, adding: “You and I have had conversations about your parliamentary runs in the past when I’ve done interviews.

“You’re not about to make another run before next year’s election?”

Mr Farage said: “I’m not about to do that, so.”

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