Video: No 10 communications chief rebukes BBC reporter

Craig Oliver gives Norman Smith a dressing down about Jeremy Hunt and BBC bias.

Number 10's director of communications, Craig Oliver, was hired in part for his broadcast expertise. However, he seems to have forgotten that you should be careful what you say in front of a microphone. A video of Oliver giving BBC politics reporter Norman Smith a five minute long tirade about the corporation's coverage of Jeremy Hunt has gone viral after it was leaked to the Guido Fawkes website. The first version of the video was removed from YouTube, but not in time to prevent copies being made. It is not quite The Thick of It; Oliver - formerly a senior BBC executive himself - manages to keep his temper in check. But he accuses Smith of bias and attempting to link David Cameron to events in which he was not involved.

Here it is in full:

Craig Oliver attends a press conference, July 2011. Photograph: Getty Images

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.