The Question Time scandal rolls on. Yesterday, a BBC admission leaked that presenter Fiona Bruce made ‘light-hearted’ jokes about Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott during the warm-up for the programme earlier this month in which Abbott was a panel member.
Abbott and the Labour Party complained about her treatment by the programme after audience members said that she had been the butt of jokes during the pre-show session, while other guests received an altogether different introduction.
In view of the BBC’s inadvertent admission that Bruce did joke with the largely right-wing audience about Abbott before the show, the SKWAWKBOX contacted the BBC to ask whether any similar ‘humour’ had been offered to the audience about other guests on that night’s programme – and to ask why the BBC still won’t release footage of the warm-up to put the matter to bed.
Given the opportunity to deny that Abbott had been singled out, the BBC refused to say that any other guests were the target of such ‘humour’ – or to provide any response to the question about the footage, with a spokesperson saying only that:
We’ve not got anything more to add to this I’m afraid.A BBC spokesperson
The BBC appears to be hoping that sticking its corporate head in the sand about this issue will let it all die down so it can get back to business as usual.
It’s simply not good enough for a publicly-funded broadcaster to dodge accountability and transparency in this way. Its evasiveness means that there is no evidence to contradict the claims of audience members that Diane Abbott was abominably treated by the BBC.
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