Number 10 refused to allow a Cabinet minister to take part in BBC1's Question Time this week because Alastair Campbell was on the panel. The show's executive editor Gavin Allen said No 10 had offered to put up a minister but only if Mr Campbell was replaced by a shadow cabinet member. Mr Allen said he refused the request as a point of "fundamental principle".
UPDATE : Number 10 attacks Campbell and BBC - "Campbell seemed to be on because he's flogging a book next week, so the BBC haven't behaved entirely properly here. There's a lot of bluster from them, but Campbell's not an elected official, not a member of the Shadow Cabinet...the BBC being a bit tricksy because we were in discussions and then they just decided to put John Redwood on. A lot of this is just the BBC talking about the BBC."
UPDATE : Campbell retaliates - "Their idiotic decision to try to get me kicked off the panel by refusing to field a minister if I was 'the Labour voice' was stupid on so many levels it is hard to know where to start....the Tories have gone all cocky and decided they can start to dictate the terms on which impartial broadcasters go about their business" LOL i tell you, the man's a legend!