22 November 2019

Journalists swap seats with politicians to help make orphanages history

Sky News presenter, Kay Burley, kept order as veteran politician, Ming Campbell, and BBC journalist, James Naughtie, took to the arena for our annual Swapping Seats fundraiser

Two battle-hardened politicians took their chance to turn the tables and grill a pair of the UK’s most experienced political journalists, at Hope and Homes for Children’s annual Swapping Seats fundraising event in London today.

Adam Boulton, Editor at Large for Sky News, faced questions from Labour peer, Lord Andrew Adonis and  BBC broadcaster, James Naughtie, was put on the spot by the former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Lord ‘Ming’ Campbell.

Broadcaster Kay Burley, took the chair to keep the panelists in order.

The sparky encounters took place as an invited audience of new and existing supporters enjoyed lunch in the historic surroundings of the Gladstone Library on London’s Whitehall.

“The calibre of politicians today has sunk to contemptible levels.”

Andrew Adonis, a Labour peer and former transport and education minister, asked Adam Boulton how things had changed since he began work as a journalist in 1983. “The calibre of politicians today has sunk to contemptible levels,” Adam Boulton replied.

“I had a soft spot for interviewing Margaret Thatcher because she answered a question.”

Asked who were the best and worst politicians to interview, Adam Boulton confided, “Despite being great off camera, Gordan Brown was the biggest disappointment when interviewing. But I had a soft spot for interviewing Margaret Thatcher because she answered a question.”

Sky News presenter, Kay Burley, chair of this year’s Swapping Seats fundraising event

The former Liberal Democrat leader, Ming Campbell, tackled James Naughtie, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme for over 20 years, on the question of BBC impartiality. Referring to a recent incident when Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg was booed at the Labour Party’s manifesto launch, James Naughtie stated, “The idea that Laura is partisan is just balderdash.”

Taking questions from the audience, chair, Sky News presenter Kay Burley, was asked, “Do you ever not ask a question to a politician because you fear they’d never come back on your show?”

“You’re not aware of my work are you?” Kay answered, to laughter from the audience.

Welcoming guests to the event, our Patron, Claire Wright, explained how orphanages do not protect children, they harm them by denying children the love and individual care that’s so vital for their development. By supporting Hope and Homes for Children, Claire explained, the audience was helping to make orphanages unacceptable and bring closer the day when every child can grow up where they belong; in a loving family.

Last year’s Swapping Seats event raised over £40,000 (net) to support the work of Hope and Homes for Children around the world.

If you would like to help eliminate orphanages and make sure every child grows up in a safe and loving family, please donate here.