'The BBC's clarification does not amount to an apology' - Readers on the week's biggest stories

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·9 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Founder of the Dyson company, designer James Dyson, poses during a photo session at a hotel in Paris. - CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP
Founder of the Dyson company, designer James Dyson, poses during a photo session at a hotel in Paris. - CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP

Sir James Dyson, writing in The Telegraph earlier this week, accused the BBC of a "grotesque mischaracterisation" after the broadcaster revealed text messages shared between the British inventor and the Prime Minister. Sir James sought clarification from Boris Johnson on UK tax matters relating to Dyson building ventilators during the pandemic.

Elsewhere, the Prime Minister's alleged 'let the bodies pile high' outburst had readers talking, as did London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox, following his interview with The Telegraph's Christopher Hope.

Read on for what our readers had to say about these stories and more of the biggest discussion points of the week.

Get involved in future round-ups by joining the Telegraph Community Facebook group.

Sir James Dyson exclusive: BBC twisted the truth over my links to the Tories

In an exclusive piece for The Telegraph, Sir James Dyson said the BBC’s claims that he tried to extract favours from the Prime Minister were untrue. Telegraph readers appreciated hearing Sir James’ side of the story.

‘There was no way the activists would allow Johnson to get away with this’

@Robert Robert:

“It is clear that there are elections shortly and that the BBC have a dog in the fight. With the Tories storming ahead in the opinion polls, and able to point to the success of the UK's vaccine rollout, there was no way that the activists there would allow Johnson to get away with this.

“The allegations that the BBC are front and centre of disseminating are nothing of importance. Johnson has nothing to reproach himself for.

“Where I do take issue with the PM is in his wetness in dealing with the BBC. The BBC Charter is being breached day in, day out. It has a solemn obligation for fairness, balance and impartiality. It is out of control. This is yet another example. As usual its opaque 'clarification' does not amount to an apology.

“A royal commission, or public inquiry must now be established to examine the practices and culture within the Corporation. Enough is enough.”

‘Johnson deserves all he gets’

@Fun DaMental:

“I no longer care that Boris gets rabidly attacked by the BBC.

“He promised in his election campaign that he would decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence and address the BBC’s Lefty bias. He reneged on that so he deserves all he gets.

“On the other hand, Boris’s inaction allows the BBC to attack patriotic British companies and individuals with inaccurate news. For that alone, it should be defunded.”

'Very disappointing that the BBC appear to be so biased'

@Stephen Morgan:

"Really helpful article."

"It is very disappointing that the BBC appear to be so biased when they claim not to be. Their lack of organisational self-awareness is extremely worrying."

‘Let the bodies pile high’: What really happened on night Boris Johnson was accused of outburst

Boris Johnson found himself being criticised this week over an alleged outburst in October last year and the ongoing reverberations of a highly disruptive leak in relation to the second lockdown. Telegraph readers argued that this is a no-win situation for the Prime Minister and his private conversations should stay that way.

'I wonder whether Winston Churchill ever lost his cool with his colleagues?'

@Sally Smith:

"I wonder, in the dark days of the Second World War, whether Winston Churchill ever lost his cool with his colleagues? At least in those days the media concentrated on facts, events and actions rather than endlessly dissecting words that may or may not have been said in private meetings in the heat of the moment.

"A lot of people in the media, and the general public, need to start growing up."

'The Government was always damned if they do, damned if they don't'

@Mark Allen:

"We should be focused on the actual handling and not the details of a highly contentious debate where there was no right answer.

"The Government was always damned if they do, damned if they don't. They've charted a course that, whilst contains mistakes, mostly did a great job.

"Everyone using the benefit of hindsight in their criticism needs to remember that you don't get it upfront."

'This is not important'

@Patricia Dyer:

"There is far too much emphasis on private conversations. We all say things in private with trusted friends that we would not want to be taken out of context. This is not important. Let’s get out of our belly buttons and move on."

Anti-lockdown, pro-free speech but does Laurence Fox actually have the credentials to be London Mayor?

Christopher Hope profiled actor and London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox this week, asking whether Fox has the credentials to be a successful mayor. While many of Fox’s values resonated with Telegraph readers, there was an underlying feeling that there will be no change in leadership after the upcoming election.

‘It’s not just London that needs Laurence Fox’

@Marcus Holt:

"It's not just London that needs Laurence Fox to win, it's the whole of the UK. We are perilously close to losing our democracy for good."

'He represents my views well'

@Paul Tustain:

"I heard Fox speak in the first week of his campaign and he represented my views well, which I would summarise as frustrated, but eminently reasonable. He spoke with conviction and purpose.

"I also heard Shaun Bailey speak once. I don't really know what his real views are, as they seem to be hidden beneath the empty rhetoric he thinks might get him elected, though it won't.

"The only thing I would have added to Fox's very sensible policy list was the abolition of the 'Mayor of London' propaganda we see plastered all over Tube walls and billboards. We should not be paying taxes to have a Government office promote itself with our money."

'He has had no political experience'

@Julia Jones:

"It isn’t part of the London mayoral remit to end lockdown, that is a central Government decision. If Laurence Fox doesn't even know that, does he actually know what the job of a London Mayor entails?

"He has had no political experience unlike the other candidates. The logical way of doing things would be to start within the Reclaim party first and not go for a top job."

Yes, GP surgeries are open... but not for business as usual

Dr James Le Fanu spoke about the misapprehensions around GP surgeries as a result of the pandemic. Readers, some more sympathetic than others, shared their experiences of GP visits.

'Time for a major overhaul of the entire system'

@Janet Pollard:

"Some parts of the NHS have been excellent but, sadly, not GPs. Our practice makes it very clear that people trying to make an appointment are nuisances.

"It is time for a major overhaul of the entire system and, as GPs are certainly no longer the ‘family doctor’ anymore, maybe the role of GPs should be changed – or even replaced with something that actually works."

'The solution, better pay and realistic expectations'

@David James:

"I know some GPs. They are working incredibly hard, albeit on phone consultations along with face-to-face consultations where necessary. The phone conversations last five minutes including the extensive paperwork. Having 10 to 12 patients per hour is highly stressful.

"Face-to-face consultations are allotted 10 minutes only, including the paperwork, at six patients per hour. GPs are overloaded. If we want to go back to the 10-minute consultation (and there were many complaints that even that was too short) then a lot of new GPs need to be employed.

"The solution? Better pay and more realistic expectations of what really needs to be done in administration."

'If private GPs can operate normally, why can’t the NHS?'

@Angela Warden:

"Private GPs are operating as normal and seeing patients in person. They are diagnosing cancer, cardiac problems and other illnesses that NHS online consultations are missing. If private GPs can operate normally, why can’t the NHS?"

Lockdown shopping snobs should check their privilege and join the real world

Suzanne Moore argued that lockdown has made people even more snobby about shopping while also emphasising the importance of supporting independent shops. Telegraph readers shared how their shopping and cooking habits have changed during the pandemic.

'Every business has to be judged on its own merit'

@Jan Goff:

"There is a wonderful book shop that we have occasionally visited while on holiday. During the last visit, I remarked at how pleased I was to see they were still trading, as so many independent bookstores were giving up. I was told that Amazon had saved the day for them and now most of their business was online.

"A greengrocer in a nearby village stocks their shelves with products from Aldi. The moral of the story? Every business has to be judged on its own merit. If Iceland serves your needs so be it. If the farmer’s market does it for you, no problem."

'Why do people pay for those fresh dinner kits?'

@Mike Pitman:

"I find it hard to understand why people pay through the nose for those fresh dinner kits, which simply contain doll-sized portions of stuff I already have in my cupboards, along with a leaflet telling me how to cook something I have been cooking for years! On top of that, I have no idea what I want for tea tomorrow, let alone in three days time!"

'We need to get the high street back to being more social and sustainable'

@Karenina Bennett:

"Iceland has vastly improved. Their luxury mince pies are lovely. Some of their ready meals are delicious, and sold at a very reasonable price.

"We need to get the high street back to being more social and sustainable. My high street (under the watch of the borough town) went from having a vast array of shops, meaning you didn't need to go elsewhere for a bag of fertiliser, a dress for a wedding or a bank (we had all four high street banks, and a Post Office).

"Planning missteps meant that my high street suffered a decline as more and more decisions were made that did not work. It now consists of a ridiculous number of coffee shops, barbers, nail bars and some charity shops."

Find out what stories are getting our readers talking by visiting the Telegraph Community Hub.

Now it's your turn: what stories from the week got you talking? Let us know in the comments section below
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting