BBC asks company with UKIP/Tory links for LABOUR comment after Corbyn’s speech tomorrow

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On Monday morning, Jeremy Corbyn is scheduled to make a speech at which media commentators expect he will announce that Labour plan to remain in ‘a customs union’ (note: not the Customs Union) with the EU after Brexit.

Although the mainstream media (MSM) have flagged this as a change or shift in Labour’s stance, it is in fact what Labour has been saying in one form or another since not long after the referendum – that being in ‘the Customs Union’ is not possible when Britain leaves the EU, but that ‘a’ customs union is desirable.

Over a month ago, the remain group ‘Open Britain’ was criticising Corbyn for exactly that stance:

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The claim of a ‘shift’ – and the accompanying talk of Tory rebellions and government defeats – look like attempts to raise unrealistic expectations among remain supporters and to create anti-Labour sentiment among Leavers, rather than any realistic analysis. With a number of anti-EU Labour MPs, a Tory rebellion big enough to defeat the government is incredibly unlikely.

Which sheds an interesting light on an email leaked to the SKWAWKBOX, showing that the BBC has asked a limited company with strong links to UKIP and the Tory party to provide pro-Brexit ‘Labour‘ commenters for on-camera interviews after Corbyn’s speech tomorrow:

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Labour Leave is a private limited company registered at Companies House. It is run by John Mills, who was also a director of Vote Leave alongside UKIP’s Suzanne Evans, Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, former Tory Party Treasurer Peter Cruddas and others.

That is not the company’s only UKIP link. Electoral Commission records show that it made a donation of £18,500 to UKIP during the referendum campaign.

That’s not all – according to Left Foot Forward, the company is funded by Tory donors and Vote Leave.

And the BBC has asked it to provide supporters – who will no doubt be presented as typical pro-Brexit Labour members – to comment on Jeremy Corbyn’s speech.

The SKWAWKBOX provided the above information to the BBC and asked it to explain why it was asking a private limited company with strong links to right-wing pro-Brexit groups to provide ‘Labour’ comment.

The BBC responded that no comment would be available tonight and that it would be unlikely to comment at all on “speech coverage plans ahead of broadcast.

‘Centrist’ Labour figures have been none-too-subtly positioning themselves to claim credit for the ‘shift’-that-isn’t-a-shift if Corbyn’s announcement is in line with MSM expectations tomorrow – and the BBC is lining up Leavers to comment who may provide opinions more aligned with UKIP than with that of Labour Brexit supporters.

At best, the decision to use the avenue it has chosen for obtaining Labour pro-Brexit comment tomorrow is highly questionable.


If the BBC does not know the Labour Leave company’s lack of status with the Labour Party, the Corporation committed a gross failure in competence.

And if it is aware of Labour Leave’s lack of status with the Labour Party, it has committed a gross breach of its impartiality and balance obligations.

Many Labour supporters want to remain, or at least to have the softest Brexit possible. Many Labour supporters are also committed Brexit supporters. Accessing authentic comment from both sections of the party – and from those who feel Brexit is a distraction from the real priority of bringing about Labour government – is in no way difficult.

So this smells suspiciously like a stitch-up – a ‘pincer movement’ – to create a lose/lose scenario in which Labour is damaged with remain supporters and brexiteers, regardless of the content of Monday’s speech.

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  1. Rachel Burden on R5 touting for ‘Labour voters’ to text in if they feel betrayed by Corbyn’s policy shift to stay in a customs union(between 6am & 6.30). She did this after quoting anti-Corbyn Daily Mail headline.

  2. The BBC has started to pit Labour Remainers and Brexiteers already. Yesterday on BBCSP they interviewed Nasty IDS for the Tories and then Frank Field and Stella Creasy to knock lumps out of each other. The BBC often does this. Rarely do you see two opposing Tories on a programme.

    1. Rarely do you see two opposing Tories on a programme.

      What – field & greasy? It’s as good as…

  3. The Today Programme has John Mills (millionare of JML products fame) on just now. Asked if he was a MP, woud he, like fellow Brexiteers such as Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Dennis Skinner, vote with Theresa May ? His answer ? No, she’s too soft on Europe. He feels happier with Boris and J R Mogg…..hw do peple lke that square their cosciece with being in our party ?

  4. Yeah, it seems like stitch-up with the added bonus of shifting the blame for this mess on to Labour over the coming days. MSM will try their hardest to cause division before Friday and then champion May’s hogwash which will have some form of appeasement for both of her squabbling sides hidden away in it and we’ll probably be non the wiser. Might have been better for Jeremy to have done his speech Thursday limiting this.

  5. Steve,
    BBC are promoting papers front pages on apple news. I presume this is not free. This to me is an endorsement to the papers, promoting their lies using public money to do so. Especially when they have their own platform has anyone ever asked about this.

    1. Masmit

      It’s disgraceful and no one seems able to hold them to account for anything. Their not even bothering to hide it any more in fact, they don’t seem to care what we, the public think. I predict, mass resignations when Labour get in because they won’t even have the guts to face the music.

  6. BBC driving an establishment wealthy Rentier class vested interests agenda instead of balanced reporting? Who’da thunk it?

    Labour really needs to start using a new phrase on this issue, ‘a’ customs ‘union’ sounds like no substantive change at all and is easily manipulated.

    Hopefully Corbyn’s speech will make Labour’s position crystal clear.

  7. The beeb are right wing
    We should withhold license fees
    until they play fair

  8. 66% Labour voters voted to remain. No doubt the BBC know this so it is blatant politicking. So much of it being an independent broadcaster. Don’t make me laugh!


  10. For all the ill informed journalists quoting a change in labour policy on brexit I suggest they watch JC on Marr a couple of weeks ago, today he repeated exactly the same policy.

  11. BBC know they’ve already pissed on their chips as far as the Left is concerned.
    All they can do now is pull out all the stops and try to destroy us whatever the cost.
    They better keep their passports and tickets to the US in their pockets at all times though… and a fast car outside with the engine running.

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