Boris Johnson latest: BBC’s Newsnight replaces its end credits with list of resignations


BBC’s Newsnight replaces its end credits with list of Government’s ministerial resignations set to Bitter Sweet Symphony (though the list is ALREADY out of date)

  • BBC’s Newsnight replaced end credits with list of Government resignations
  • It was set to mournful cover of Bitter Sweet Symphony by London Grammar
  • List was of 43 people who had left at that point – a figure that has since hit 51
  • But viewers called it ‘pretty wild’ and ‘giving up any shred of serious journalism’

BBC‘s Newsnight replaced its end credits with a list of the resignations from Boris Johnson‘s government – set to the mournful tones of Bitter Sweet Symphony.

The political programme presented by Kirsty Wark last night showed a list of the 43 men and women who had left at that point, although the figure has since hit 51.

A rolling list of names was presented on a black background in the style of an Oscars ‘in memoriam’ tribute, set to a cover of the Verve’s 1997 song by London Grammar.

A faded picture of Mr Johnson was shown behind the names as they were shown, before they finished with a gap, and then the line: ‘Boris Johnson – Prime Minister?’ 

But the editorial decision was criticised by some viewers on Twitter, who described it as ‘simply ludicrous’, ‘pretty wild’ and ‘giving up any shred of serious journalism’. 

Others labelled it a ‘total LOL-fest’ and ‘iconic behaviour from Newsnight’, while a third tweeted that the rolling list was ‘like it’s the obits at the Oscars’.

Ahead of the list being shown, Wark concluded Newsnight by saying: ‘Well that is all from us tonight. On the evening that the resignations from the Johnson government threatened to become a flood, we leave you with the names of the first 43 of them.

‘As Nick (Watt) just said, there are already more since we came on air. See you tomorrow to find out who they are, if there are more to come. Goodnight.’

The lyrics to Bitter Sweet Symphony used were: ‘Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony, this life / Trying to make ends meet, you’re a slave to the money then you die.

‘I’ll take you down the only road I have ever been down / You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah.

A rolling list of names was presented on a black background in the style of an Oscars 'in memoriam' tribute, set to a cover of the Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony by London Grammar

A rolling list of names was presented on a black background in the style of an Oscars ‘in memoriam’ tribute, set to a cover of the Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony by London Grammar

The list of names on the programme finished with the line: 'Boris Johnson - Prime Minister?'

The list of names on the programme finished with the line: ‘Boris Johnson – Prime Minister?’

‘And no change, I can change, I can change, I can change…’ – before it faded out.

Wark was joined on the show by Conservatives MP Peter Bone and Adam Holloway – as well as Thangam Debbonaire, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.

Also appearing on the programme was Camilla Cavendish, former director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, and the former Conservative minister Margot James.

Further guests included Financial Times associate editor Stephen Bush; Sonia Purnell, biographer of Boris Johnson; and MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis.

Its listing on iPlayer said: ‘A major political crisis that’s fast becoming a constitutional one… Who and what could get Boris Johnson out the door of number 10?’ 

The Prime Minister’s attempts to battle for his job have come under further pressure in the hours since the show was aired after more resignations

Mr Johnson has rejected calls to quit, dramatically sacked Cabinet rival Michael Gove and also faces a leadership challenge from former ally Suella Braverman.

He has also been hit by the departure of a third Cabinet minister – Welsh Secretary Simon Hart – and further demands to go from the Attorney General.

Mr Johnson met ministers in No 10 yesterday, where he was told he had lost the confidence of the Tory party and should not continue in office – but refused to listen.

Mr Gove was thought to have told the Prime Minister yesterday morning that it was time for him to quit. That was followed by a delegation of Cabinet ministers going to No 10 to tell Mr Johnson he should stand down after losing the trust of his MPs.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and Welsh Secretary Mr Hart were among the Cabinet ministers telling Mr Johnson to stand down.

Mr Hart quit last night, following in the footsteps of former Cabinet colleagues Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid – who departed a day earlier.

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