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Proof the BBC won’t switch off its bias: Broadcaster demands we pay for it and denies it’s Left wing

The new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has raged against ‘Left-wing snowflakes’ and once dubbed the BBC a ‘biased Left-wing organisation which is seriously failing in its political representation, from the top down’.

As if to prove her point, she was appointed on the very day the Beeb unveiled one Jess Brammar as its new executive news editor.

While 64-year-old Dorries – a novelist and reality TV star who once ate an ostrich’s nether parts on I’m a Celebrity – can be outspoken and divisive, Miss Brammar has turned baiting Tories into an art form.

This June, Maitlis was meanwhile forced to delete a tweet accusing the Government of ‘failing to properly protect the country from a pandemic’

Nadine Dorries – a novelist and reality TV star who once ate an ostrich’s nether parts on I’m a Celebrity – can be outspoken and divisive

Nadine Dorries – a novelist and reality TV star who once ate an ostrich’s nether parts on I’m a Celebrity – can be outspoken and divisive

The former editor of Left-wing website HuffPost UK, Brammar recently tried (and failed) to erase evidence of her hard-Left sympathies by deleting more than 16,000 Twitter posts.

They included tweets from the last election campaign in which she repeatedly called Boris Johnson a liar, claimed that ‘Black Brits’ were ‘genuinely considering leaving the UK because of the level of racism, particularly if Boris Johnson wins’ and gleefully promoted ‘the group of young women behind the #FCKBoris posters’ on the London Underground.

Elsewhere, she has argued that the term ‘woke’ is a ‘dogwhistle’, compared Brexit to a bad comedy ‘like [Netflix’s] Better Call Saul but less funny or interesting or enjoyable’, and urged people to ‘fight for a properly funded NHS’.

The former editor of Left-wing website HuffPost UK, Brammar recently tried (and failed) to erase evidence of her hard-Left sympathies by deleting more than 16,000 Twitter posts

The former editor of Left-wing website HuffPost UK, Brammar recently tried (and failed) to erase evidence of her hard-Left sympathies by deleting more than 16,000 Twitter posts

On other occasions, Brammar has accused the former foreign secretary Dominic Raab of being sexually insecure on the grounds that he once said he was ‘probably not’ a feminist, described a shortage of home-testing sexual health kits as the ‘reality of austerity Britain’, endorsed the view that ‘transphobia is rife in the gender-based violence sector’, and so on.

Brammar is just one individual. Yet there is undoubtedly a widely held perception that the BBC has an overwhelming tilt to the Left, not just in its newsroom but other areas, too, such as comedy shows.

And this is important. For, unlike other broadcasters, the BBC – funded, as it is, by licence-payers who can be arrested if they do not stump up – has a duty of impartiality.

Of course, questions of impartiality and bias can be subjective. 

But one objective way of finding out whether there is bias in the BBC newsroom is to examine what those who work there – from the leading lights to the less well known – write and, perhaps more importantly, ‘like’ on social media.

Here, GUY ADAMS does just that – and suggests there are, indeed, a number of culprits that woke-loathing Ms Dorries might want to get her teeth into…

NEWSNIGHT POLICY CHIEF WITH A HARD-LEFT AGENDA 

In 2018, Lewis Goodall wrote a book singing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn called Left for Dead? The Strange Death and Rebirth of the Labour Party

In 2018, Lewis Goodall wrote a book singing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn called Left for Dead? The Strange Death and Rebirth of the Labour Party

Lewis Goodall, the policy editor of Newsnight, has never sought to hide his hard-Left agenda. 

While studying history and politics at Oxford, he began writing opinion pieces for The Guardian, which described him as a Labour Party activist and blogger, and after graduating he worked for the Left-wing Institute for Public Policy Research. 

In 2018, he wrote a book singing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn called Left for Dead? The Strange Death and Rebirth of the Labour Party. 

By then, he was a political correspondent for Sky News with a reputation for using social media to mount vigorous attacks on Brexit and the Tory party.

When Boris Johnson was at the centre of a row in 2018 over his remarks likening Muslim women wearing burkas to letterboxes and bank robbers, Mr Goodall compared him to the late Tory MP Enoch Powell, and accused him of fuelling racist attacks.

‘Burkagate reminds us you can say whatever you like in Britain, be rude or even prejudiced and be respected for it, so long as you’re posh and powerful,’ he argued, saying Johnson’s remark ‘legitimises the prejudices of others, further down the class food chain – it suggests that certain things which probably ought not to be alright, in fact are. 

That is why I give the suggestion that there has been an increase in the numbers of attacks on women wearing the niqab in recent days absolute credibility.’

Later, when Johnson became PM and prorogued Parliament, Mr Goodall used Twitter to accuse him of ’embarrassing the Queen’, which he described as ‘astounding’. 

He added that the Tory party was increasingly ‘willing to tolerate a leader who does things/says things they never would have been willing to countenance previously just because they think he’ll bring them electoral success’, adding that it mimicked the ‘slow nervous breakdown on the Right’ in the US.

Naturally, he sailed into a job at the BBC where he continued his outspoken attacks on the Tory government, one of them last year in a cover story for the Left-wing New Statesman magazine, headlined: ‘Failed: How the Government’s ineptitude created a lost generation.’ 

This was criticised by Sir Robbie Gibb, former director of communications at No 10 and ex-head of the BBC’s Westminster unit, who said: ‘Is there anyone more damaging to the BBC’s reputation for impartiality than Lewis Goodall? This is so off the scale I don’t even know where to begin.’

Goodall’s partisanship continues to this day. A couple of weeks back, BBC bosses forced him to delete a tweet describing critics of Brammar’s appointment as ‘unhinged’ and ‘misogynistic’.

NEWSNIGHT HOST WITH IMPARTIALITY ISSUES

A serial offender, Newsnight host Emily Maitlis most famously delivered a staggeringly partisan attack on both Dominic Cummings and the Prime Minister last May, declaring – before any independent investigation had been carried out – that the former had ‘broken the rules’ during lockdown on a visit to his family home in County Durham and made the public ‘feel like fools’, accusing the PM of ‘blind loyalty’.

There were 20,000 complaints and the BBC censured her, saying the remarks failed to meet ‘standards of due impartiality’.

In September 2019, the corporation’s complaints unit found against her for a ‘sneering and bullying’ interview in which she asked the pro-Brexit journalist Rod Liddle if he would describe himself ‘as a racist’, saying ‘many see you that way’ and claiming: ‘All you do is write about suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Tower Hamlets.’ 

Liddle responded: ‘Do you have to, at every possible juncture, show the BBC’s grotesque bias?’ For more bias, one need only venture on to her Twitter feed, where she once accused Boris Johnson of ‘fuelling racism’.

There, Maitlis last May retweeted LBC radio presenter and arch-Remainer James O’Brien saying: ‘The far-Right routinely disseminate and pretend to believe things they know not to be true to stoke hatred and division. 

‘To see the tactic being adopted by Conservative MPs and even an actual minister is a moment of real danger for our democracy.’

During the first lockdown, she shared remarks by an anti-Tory doctor who said: ‘I’m so grateful you are calling out the lies, u-turns and incompetence of this government’, and by Times columnist Jenni Russell who argued: ‘Boris was never up to the job of crisis leader… We’re being led by bunch of inadequates.’ 

This June, Maitlis was meanwhile forced to delete a tweet accusing the Government of ‘failing to properly protect the country from a pandemic’.

THE RISING STAR AND BREXIT MOANER

Mr Rotherham had decided to mock then Brexit secretary Dominic Raab’s decision to quit in protest at Theresa May’s deal

Mr Rotherham had decided to mock then Brexit secretary Dominic Raab’s decision to quit in protest at Theresa May’s deal

A rising star of the BBC newsroom who cut his teeth as a graduate political reporter for Radio One, Nick Rotherham was in 2018 made inaugural chairman of the BBC’s ‘Under 30s News Panel’, a committee created to help promising young journalists shape the future of its current affairs output.

Last summer, he was promoted to ‘senior news editor, commissioning’. But with his growing profile came increased scrutiny and, in July, it emerged that he’d used a personal Twitter account to post several highly critical remarks about Brexit. They dated back to January 2017, when he’d already been a BBC employee for two years. One suggested the UK leaving the single market should lead to a second referendum on Scottish independence: ‘Out of the Single Market. Over to you Nicola Sturgeon… #Indyref2.’

He’d followed that up two months later by attacking a proposed Brexit settlement, tweeting: ‘This Brexit divorce bill will be a bitter pill to swallow for many younger voters. Seven years of austerity and being told there’s no money. EMA [European Medicines Agency] and housing benefit taken away, only for £50bn to find to leave a club most didn’t want to.’

Then, in November 2018, Mr Rotherham had decided to mock then Brexit secretary Dominic Raab’s decision to quit in protest at Theresa May’s deal, saying: ‘So, Dominic Raab just resigned over a deal he negotiated.’ 

A few weeks later, he shared graphics appearing to make the case for proportional representation – showing how the Tories would have won 80 fewer seats at the 2019 election.

Tory MP Peter Bone said his comments revealed him to be ‘clearly biased against Brexit’, but no further action was taken. Mr Rotherham’s Twitter account is now set to private, meaning only friends are able to read it.

BREAKFAST HOST WITH NO TIME FOR DONALD TRUMP 

Munchetty had to be ‘reminded of her responsibilities’ by the corporation because she ‘liked’ a series of anti-Conservative tweets after she and co-host Charlie Stayt had ridiculed then housing minister Robert Jenrick for having a Union flag and a portrait of the Queen in his office

Munchetty had to be ‘reminded of her responsibilities’ by the corporation because she ‘liked’ a series of anti-Conservative tweets after she and co-host Charlie Stayt had ridiculed then housing minister Robert Jenrick for having a Union flag and a portrait of the Queen in his office

In a surreal episode that read like a sub-plot from the TV comedy spoof W1A, the BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty was found by the corporation’s executive complaints unit to have breached editorial guidelines in 2019 by suggesting that Donald Trump was a racist. There followed a raft of criticism by Left-leaning celebrities, who wrote a letter to The Guardian – where else? – calling for the internal regulator’s decision to be reversed. The BBC’s then director general Lord Hall swiftly gave in to their demand.

Further rows followed. The following year, she was accused of firstly ‘endorsing criminal behaviour’ during a report on Black Lives Matter and secondly showing ‘political bias’ during an interview with Chancellor Rishi Sunak. This time, the complaints unit decided to find in her favour.

Fast forward to this March, and Munchetty had to be ‘reminded of her responsibilities’ by the corporation because she ‘liked’ a series of anti-Conservative tweets after she and co-host Charlie Stayt had ridiculed then housing minister Robert Jenrick for having a Union flag and a portrait of the Queen in his office.

One of the messages she so admired said ‘the flag sh**gers will be up in arms’. Another ventured the opinion: ‘This should be done every time the Tories roll out one of their talking head ministers.’

Munchetty later apologised in an illiterate statement saying: ‘I ‘liked’ tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning. I have since removed these ‘likes’. This [sic] do not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.’

EUROPE SUPREMO EMBEDDED IN BRUSSELS 

Adler was at the centre of a further row after she claimed that Boris Johnson was ‘berating’ the EU during the AstraZeneca vaccine row

Adler was at the centre of a further row after she claimed that Boris Johnson was ‘berating’ the EU during the AstraZeneca vaccine row

Few BBC jobs have required a greater devotion to impartiality in recent years than the post of Europe editor.

But only a fool would expect our national broadcaster to navigate the choppy waters of Brexit without sometimes allowing metropolitan bias to shine through.

Which brings us to Katya Adler, holder of the £215,000-a-year post, whose appointment in 2015 met with criticism from Tory MPs who noted that according to her Linked In profile the veteran journalist had from 1996 ‘to the present day’ been ‘hosting public, corporate and private events including for the EU Commission, the European Space Agency, CERN, London’s Frontline Club and the Austrian government during its EU presidency’.

Subsequent years brought endless allegations of partisanship, always denied, and in 2017 Adler went so far as to admit to a ‘perceived’ anti-Brexit bias in the BBC’s coverage.

However, she argued that it was all the EU’s fault, saying: ‘We do not have the same access to talk to the same players as we do on the British side to put the difficult questions to them.’

The BBC’s executive complaints unit took a different view last year, however, when it found that Adler had breached anti-bias rules in her reporting of comments by Michael Gove to the House of Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the EU.

Mr Gove had suggested that Covid might ‘concentrate the minds’ of Europe’s Brexit negotiators. Adler used Twitter to describe his comment as ‘delusional’.

The regulator found that her tweet went beyond the guidelines’ licence for ‘professional judgments, rooted in evidence’.

Over the winter, Adler was at the centre of a further row after she claimed that Boris Johnson was ‘berating’ the EU during the AstraZeneca vaccine row.

In fact, critics argued, the Prime Minister was ‘remarkably calm’ and ‘measured’ throughout.

THE CORBYNIST CORRESPONDENT WHO CALLS BORIS A CLOWN

At Cambridge University, she was a proud Corbynist, using social media to make the improbable claim that ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn has been chanted at the end of every May Ball this week’ and alleging shortly before the 2017 election that ‘Boris Johnson on #mayvscorbyn tonight was an embarrassment – can’t believe he’s our foreign secretary’. 

Having graduated that summer, Croxford criticised centrist Labour MPs for resigning and ‘slating the party in the process’ and in a separate post wrote that ‘major Labour gains’ in that year’s election had been ‘unbelievable’. 

She also posted an article by Left-wing columnist Owen Jones, titled ‘Please, Theresa, sack Boris Johnson – Britain needs leaders not clowns’. 

And in June that year she wrote: ‘Why blame the Tory spin advisers? No amount of spin would have saved their dire manifesto policies: Dementia tax, fox-hunting, unpaid leave.’

Naturally, this highly partisan political pedigree did nothing to prevent her sailing into a graduate job at our national broadcaster, where she is now a correspondent.

By 2020 her reporting had sparked allegations of anti-Tory bias.

In June that year, Croxford was asked to report on a speech in which then equalities minister Kemi Badenoch revealed ministers were examining why members of ethnic minorities were at higher risk of Covid.

Croxford posted an article by Left-wing columnist Owen Jones, titled ‘Please, Theresa, sack Boris Johnson – Britain needs leaders not clowns’.

Croxford posted an article by Left-wing columnist Owen Jones, titled ‘Please, Theresa, sack Boris Johnson – Britain needs leaders not clowns’.

Her article carried the headline: ‘Minister rejects systemic racism claims.’ Critics said it appeared to suggest that Miss Badenoch, who was born in London to Nigerian parents, was somehow seeking to play down racism.

The Tory minister responded that Croxford’s reporting was insulting and inaccurate: ‘I did no such thing; in fact, the phrase systemic racism was not used once in the debate.’

THE HEAD OF INVESTIGATIONS STILL FIGHTING REFERENDUM

Mr Perkins retweeted an apparently light-hearted suggestion to make the generation who ‘mostly voted’ for Brexit pay the cost of it by slashing their pensions by 65 per cent

Mr Perkins retweeted an apparently light-hearted suggestion to make the generation who ‘mostly voted’ for Brexit pay the cost of it by slashing their pensions by 65 per cent

The Twitter feed of the BBC’s ‘head of journalism, investigations’ leaves little doubt to his political persuasion. 

In between posts promoting the Africa Eye documentary programme, which he edits, Mr Perkins devotes himself to critiques of Brexit along with attacks on news outlets that fail to share his Left-wing worldview. 

When Donald Trump was doing well in the run-up to the US elections, for example, he shared an anti-Trump tweet saying: ‘Fox News and Facebook did to our parents what they said video games would do to us.’ 

In February 2018 he retweeted a blunt riposte by Gary Lineker to Lord [Digby] Jones who had asked ‘Remoaners’ to stop undermining the UK’s negotiating position and that the country should not give in to bullies. It read: ‘No, we should never give in to bullies so, please, just stfu [shut the f*** up].’

A few months earlier, Mr Perkins retweeted an apparently light-hearted suggestion to make the generation who ‘mostly voted’ for Brexit pay the cost of it by slashing their pensions by 65 per cent.

Shortly before the 2019 election, he retweeted an attack on the ‘Red Wall’ Tory MP Ben Bradley by a Guardian journalist, arguing that post-Brexit trade deals would force British consumers to eat imported meat produced via ‘horrendous animal welfare conditions’.

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