Politicians must be brave enough to say "I don't know" rather than confuse the public with meaningless soundbites, Nick Robinson has said.
The Today programme presenter has called on leaders to accept their ignorance on Covid-19 and not give guarantees through slogans.
The former political editor and interviewer on the Radio 4 current affairs show has revealed that he will be more forgiving of political leaders who admit they "don't know".
Robinson has expressed his frustration with interviewee who evade questions during a morning grilling, and with overconfident messaging plucked from a "set menu of 'oven-ready' soundbites".
He has taken issue with guarantees Covid-19 responses would be "ground-breaking" and "game-changing", and with assurances from Gavin Williamson prior the the exams furore that students would be provided a "triple lock" and a "backstop".
The presenter has also dismissed assurances the economy will "simply 'bounce back'".
While Robinson has lost patience for politics using interviews to air these soundbites, he has vowed not to aim for "gotcha" journalism, but instead allow for politicians to admit their ignorance.
He wrote in Radio Times magazine: "My resolution is to do my best to reward those who are willing to be open about the choices they face.
"And who are willing to say the three most truthful words in politics: 'I don't know'."
He added: "Straight talking; plain speaking; to be treated like a grown-up. That is what I crave."
Robinson has criticised the black and white thinking on both sides of political debate, and the soundbites advertising the total rightness or wrongness of different approaches.
He wrote: "Many leaders believe that what we want from them is certainty. Look, they say, at the evidence of what works: simple, memorable slogans like 'Make America Great Again', 'Take Back Control' and, yes, 'Stay at Home, Save Lives, Protect the NHS'."
But the BBC presenter has argued that the coronavirus pandemic does not offer the certainty being expressed in slogans, and those both for and against Government policy should accept that cast-iron guarantees cannot be made.
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