Former BBC chairman Michael Grade told BBC Newsnight that Mr Johnson will not want to be “remembered as the PM who destroyed” the broadcaster and so must act to ensure it’s secured. He was in the post between 2004 and 2006 and since 2011 has been a Conservative life peer in the House of Lords. Mr Grade was then replaced by Sir Peter Burt as chairman after two years in the post.
But he made the admission during the Monday night edition of the topical news show, which featured heavily the row over the BBC.
At present, many Conservatives believe there should be a massive shake-up at the broadcaster, with some arguing the license fee should be dropped.
During the election campaign, the BBC was also faced with accusations of bias from parties on both the left and right.
Speaking on the programme, Mr Grade said: “The political standards are changing in this country and they certainly changed dramatically after the election.
“The BBC will catch up and they will reflect that in their journalism.
“What we want the BBC to be is the bulwark and the gold standard of journalism in this country.”
The show’s Emily Maitlis then interrupted by asking: “How hard a battle do you think that’s going to be with an incoming Government that you know has many characters who don’t like the idea of a license fee and consider it a poll tax?”
He responded: “No Prime Minister in any of our lifetimes is going to want to go down as the Prime Minister who destroyed the BBC.”
Peers voted for the amendment by 270 votes to 229 – a majority of 41.
Those in favour of the change to the Government bill argue the decision was made to try and prevent “another Windrush”.
The House of Lords rejected ministers’ claims the move would amount to “ID card creep”.
The second vote was to amend Mr Johnson’s proposal to hand powers to British judges in lower courts to overturn rulings by the European Court of Justice after Brexit.