Jeremy Paxman: I'm a one-nation Tory and 'Newsnight' is made by 13-year-olds

The former presenter suggested he found himself at odds with the political leanings of most at the programme

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a “one-nation Tory” and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic “13-year-olds” who foolishly think they can “change the world”.

Mr Paxman, speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival about his new book, Britain’s Great War, confirmed what many had suspected about his political leanings.

“I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes,” he said.

During his last appearance on Newsnight, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, suggested Mr Paxman was the “last” Conservative at the BBC.

Asked if that was really true, he said: “If I had to... are there any members of the press here? I think I'll plead the fifth on that one.”

But he suggested he found himself at odds with the political leanings of most at Newsnight, according to a Daily Telegraph reporter in the crowd.


“Look, Newsnight is made by 13-year-olds. It's perfectly normal when you're young that you want to change the world,” Mr Paxman said.

“The older you get, the more you realise what a fools' errand much of that is and that the thing to do is to manage the best you can to the advantage of as many people as possible.”

Speaking about his political views in general, he said he was “in favour of governments getting out of people's lives - particularly foreign government”, saying Europe had been “nothing but trouble for us”. He also joked that Belgium was a “pointless little country”.

“The closer you can take decision-making to the people affected by those decisions, the better,” he said.