Middle Eastern whispers

The New Statesman reported that Tim Franks, the BBC's outgoing Middle East - and Jewish- correspondent, had revealed on radio that he was leaving because of rumours that he had got the job through Israeli lobbying.

Actually, all Franks did was to recall a remark at the news of his appointment (in 2007) by a non-Jewish family friend who had told a relative of his that it had come about because of pressure put on the BBC's director-general by the previous Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. He certainly didn't cite that as a reason for going.

    Last updated: 1:52pm, June 17 2010