The BBC has been accused by several members of its Question Time audience – including one who works for an MP – of mockery and abuse toward guest Diane Abbott during the pre-show warm-up and of biased treatment during the programme itself:
The claim was corroborated by at least two other audience members:
The claims sparked widespread outrage among viewers and Labour supporters, who also pointed out angrily that false claims made during the show that Labour trails the Tories in the polls had been supported by presenter Fiona Bruce after Abbott had pointed out they were untrue.
Journalist Aaron Bastani summed up:
Labour have led or been level with the Tories in all but one of the last eight polls, with most recent polls suggesting a current Labour lead of around three points, yet Bruce supported hard-right Isobel Oakeshott’s claim Labour trails:
Of course, the BBC presenting such inaccuracies as fact is not limited to one show, as Labour MP Jon Trickett pointed out:
Multiply-corroborated testimony about the programme’s treatment of a guest needs to be treated seriously – especially when that guest is the most grotesquely abused politician in the UK.
However, in a statement to the SKWAWKBOX the BBC merely denied any wrongdoing:
We firmly reject claims that any of the Question Time team treated any of the panel unfairly before and during the recording last night.A BBC spokesperson
It seems hopes that a new presenter would mean a new environment on Question Time, which has been constantly lambasted for right-wing bias, were ill-founded.
As Trickett observed, this looks more likely to be a question of editorial policy to mislead than one of mere presenter preferences.
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