BBC Question Time panel get caught lying during attack on Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott, left, and journalist Isabel Oakeshott, right, on BBC Question Time
John McEvoy

On 17 January, the supposedly unbiased BBC Question Time panel ganged up on shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, claiming that Labour was “way behind in the polls”. The show’s new host, Fiona Bruce, then joined the attack (led by right-wing columnist Isabel Oakeshott) to tell Abbott: “No, you’re behind Diane – definitely”.

But not for the first time, the BBC has been caught screening barefaced lies and political attacks without challenge. Though Abbott defended Labour – saying “we are kind of level-pegging” in the polls – it gets even worse for Bruce and Oakeshott. Because in most recent polls, Labour has actually been ahead of the Tories.

Way behind?

People instantly rinsed Oakeshott and Bruce’s dodgy statistics on Twitter.

Grassroots campaign group Momentum set the record straight by showing that Labour is ahead of the Tories in three of the five major polling companies’ reports:

Journalist Owen Jones also called on Oakeshott and the BBC to apologise:

A woman in the audience, meanwhile, claimed that “the jeers against Diane Abbott were worse than could be heard on the broadcast”.

Novara Media co-founder Aaron Bastani highlighted the unequal treatment of Abbott when it comes to numbers:

The Mirror‘s Kevin Maguire also chimed in, insisting:

Needless to say, numerous viewers found the panel’s behaviour totally unacceptable:

Independent media outlet Evolve Politics, meanwhile, said it had received no response from the BBC after confronting it with the facts:

BBC credibility

Establishment journalists seemingly saw one poll putting the Tories ahead, and chose to forget the rest. This is cherry-picking at its most damaging.

If the BBC wishes to retain any credibility, it must stop broadcasting politically motivated lies.

Featured image via screengrab via I Am Incorrigible

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  • Show Comments
    1. I hardly think this is lying, I can’t imagine they all knew the truth and purposely lied. More like they got it wrong. Whatsmore the BBC is made up of thousands of employees, they aren’t all liars and not impartial…

      I am checking out the Canary as it was recommended to me by someone who claimed it was the “truth”. I will carry on for a few weeks but this isn’t exactly impartial. What is the proof they were lying?

    2. The BBC’s truth is very questionable, and I’m not imagining. Its was their social atitude of razing Diane Abbot which was so telling in the way facts were presented. I’m sure whoever sets policy in the BBC wouldn’t like to be treated like this. I’d like to know who these people are so its fair, and they have the same opportunity to stand in the public arena for us to observe.. Who are these people issuing directives from closed doors?
      Somehow I don’t they would want to be treated in the same manner Ms. Abbott was.
      I find the Canary has a basic truth about it that is hard to define, and I notice its the only online news with satirical humour.
      You don’t find these interviewers having the talent.

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