Michael Gove interviews Nick Robinson Buxton International Festival

BBC veteran calls for increase in the cost of lying

The cost of lying to the public needs to rise, politicians were warned by veteran BBC journalist Nick Robinson at Buxton International Festival.

Many politicians such as President Trump were now calculating that the risk of either outright lying or dodging the vital questions of the day would not be outweighed by people punishing them at the ballot box, he said.

Prime Ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson had this week claimed that EU regulations meant that kippers posted to customers had to be in a packet with ice pillows—although that rule is a UK one.

“What I find depressing now is that the cost of lying is too low,” said Nick, who was being interviewed by former No 10 candidate Michael Gove.

“We’ve got to find a way of changing that calculus.”

Nick said that the most important question of his career ever to be dodged might have altered the course of history if people had made more of it at the time.

He had asked Prime Minister David Cameron before the EU referendum what his Plan B would be if his renegotiations with Brussels failed and the vote went in favour of Brexit.

“He didn’t have an answer,” said Nick.

“I think the country would have been in a different place now if more people had paid attention to that interview.”