An LBC presenter and former Downing Street adviser shared questions with cabinet ministers prior to interviewing them in a bid to entice them on his show, promising them a “gentle” ride, Buzzfeed News UK has reported.
Tom Swarbrick, who presents the LBC show on Sunday and Thursday from 10pm to 1am, has not expressly denied the claims, but said in a statement that they were an example of “political game playing”.
The radio journalist rejoined LBC in March after leaving Downing Street, where he was head of broadcast for nearly two years. He had previously spent four years at LBC and three years at BBC radio.
Text messages obtained by Buzzfeed revealed a conversation between Swarbrick and a Cabinet Minister – not named by the website – when he was trying to get the politician on his radio show.
Buzzfeed claims it has seen both sides of the text messages, which were sent earlier this year.
Said Buzzfeed: “In the messages, Swarbrick outlines an earlier telephone conversation with the minister in which he says he has already told him the questions he would ask.
“The presenter goes on to make assurances that the minister would be safe and the interview would be gentle.”
Swarbrick told the site: “Only one part of a conversation has been leaked about an interview which didn’t even go ahead.”
An LBC spokesperson said: “LBC has a long history and excellent reputation for holding people in power to account, of which there are many examples.”
A few months after Swarbrick left his role at Number 10, he secured an interview with the Theresa May, where he asked her about her NHS funding announcement.