The BBC has ceased to be an impartial broadcaster and is now effectively a propagandist for the EU Leave campaign, according to a former UK Labour Minister.
Lord Andrew Adonis made the claim during an interview on BBC Scotland’s flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland.
During a debate with host Gary Robertson on the BBC’s coverage of Brexit, the Labour peer said: “I think having got into this, that the BBC has unfortunately stopped being an impartial state broadcaster and has essentially become a propagandist for Leave.”
What was billed as an interview quickly became a heated debate between the two men as the BBC presenter defended the broadcaster. Adonis accused the BBC of failing to report key debates on Brexit and cited several examples of what he described as BBC bias.
In a thinly disguised jibe at BBC Scotland, he said: “There were demonstrations in Edinburgh where you report from, or supposedly report from, two weeks ago. The weren’t reported on the national BBC at all.
“Those were part of demonstrations that also took place in Leeds, in Newcastle and cities up and down the country, they weren’t reported.”
The Labour peer also highlighted the number of Question Time appearances enjoyed by Nigel Farage, adding: “Last month Nigel Farage, who is the ex, ex leader of a party that is at two per cent in the opinion polls, made his thirty second appearance on BBC Question Time.”
Challenged by host Gary Robertson that Farage is effectivey a substitute for UK Govt Cabinet Ministers who do not appear on the programme, Adonis replied: “They do, there is a member of the Cabinet or a Minister on Question Time most weeks.”
Interrupted continually by the BBC Scotland presenter, the Labour peer appeared frustrated, and accused Robertson of lacking impartiality himself: “… you sound like a partisan for the Leave campaign.” he said.
The BBC Scotland presenter, who by now had dropped any pretence of impartiality, hit back at Adonis, claiming he was merely “putting the opposite point of view to you”, to which Adonis replied: “What you’re doing is your putting the BBC’s point of view, which I well understand because the BBC now thinks the debate is over and we should leave.”
Robertson put it to the Labour peer that what he was describing as ‘bias’ was in fact the broadcasting of opinions he, Adonis, didn’t agree with. Adonis responded by insisting the BBC’s own coverage showed that it was “systematically slanted” in favour of Leave.
Adonis also revealed the BBC’s own editorial policy stated that the debate on whether to leave the EU or not was now over. The Labour peer ended by highlighting the number of people who depend on the EU for their livelihoods, adding: “I believe you, as a public broadcaster, have a duty to report this fairly and not as a done deal that we’re leaving.”
Listen to the full interview here:
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