Jeremy Paxman, 69, who is known for hosting University Challenge and, previously, Newsnight, turned his sharp tongue on Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, in this week’s Radio Times. “Have we ever had a worse bunch in Parliament?” the presenter asked. “There comes a point when the citizen begins to suspect that what’s wrong with political life is not a matter of individual failure, but of some rot deep within the system. I’m there.”
Paxman went on to compare Johnson to former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, 52, who, during his time in charge, called the referendum which resulted in the British public voting for Brexit.
“I used to think that David Cameron was the worst prime minister in modern times,” he wrote.
“Then he was succeeded by that cornucopia of failure, Theresa May.
“Now we find ourselves required to entrust the country to a man you wouldn’t trust alone with your sister,” he added, referring to the current PM, Johnson.
Paxman traced the current climate of uncertainty back to Cameron, saying: “It was David Cameron’s folly, in putting party before country and calling a referendum, that upset the applecart.
“In a representative democracy, making laws is the job of Parliament,” he continued.
“Oddly, taking the initiative away from Parliament has made us all wonder why it is so useless.
“Yes, it’s difficult, but what’s wrong with our politicians that, three years after the event, they can’t decide how to implement Brexit?” he blasted.
Paxman also proposed a series of changes to the way Parliament is run, asking why the country needs 650 MPs and why they should operate out of London.
He suggested the number of MPs be reduced by half and that they meet “somewhere more plugged in to the nation”.
The broadcaster also said it should be made illegal for MPs to serve more than two terms.
Paxman, who studied at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, began his career as a journalist.
He later moved into TV and worked on the likes of Tonight and Panorama before landing a job as a newsreader for the BBC.
In 1989 he took the helm on Newsnight, a position he held for 25 years.
He is also known for asking the question on University Challenge since it was rebooted in 1994.
Read Jeremy Paxman’s full article in this week’s Radio Times – out now.