Owen Jones has savaged the BBC’s Andrew Neil, laying bare his far right associations

A split screen of Owen Jones and Andrew Neil

Guardian columnist Owen Jones has launched a scathing attack on the BBC‘s Andrew Neil, calling him out for his links to far-right figures and movements:

Fake news?

Initially, Neil vehemently refuted allegations from journalist Abi Wilkinson claiming he has links to the far-right Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban:

Read on...

Yet Jones didn’t let him get away with his forthright response:

Neil previously praised the research of Hungarian thinktank the Századvég Foundation:

Viktor Orban was an editor on the foundation’s early publications and continually commissions it to conduct studies. Global magazine Foreign Policy argues [paywall] that Orban’s Fidesz government:

has successfully combined anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant propaganda to scare Hungarian voters.

It throws a new light on Neil’s criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn attending a Passover ceremony hosted by left-wing group Jewdas:

It gets worse

Neil is chairman of Press Holdings, which owns the Spectator magazine. Jones did some more digging and discovered a worrying pattern:

This included more support and links to Orban’s far-right regime:


Jones felt that Neil’s lack of response to his accusations couldn’t be ignored:

Meanwhile, sociologist Tom Mills made the point that it would be “unimaginable” for the BBC to tolerate similar extremist ties from a left-wing presenter:

Why does it matter?

Jones argues that Neil is legitimising the far right and that the taxpayer is paying for it:

Former executive chair of far-right website Breitbart Steve Bannon has been having secret conversations with high-ranking Tory MPs. Far-right supporters of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) have repeatedly used violence to further their cause. And on 4 August, a far-right group attacked a socialist bookshop in London.

So it’s no wonder Jones thinks the far right is at its strongest for a long time:

Neil’s continued presence on the BBC while maintaining such strong links to a far-right regime such as the Hungarian government should worry us all.

The BBC must stop employing people whose actions risk legitimising the far right’s ascent.

Get Involved!

– Join us, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via OwenJones/YouTube and RobinHoodUKIP/YouTube

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed