Michael Heseltine has launched a scathing attack on the Conservative Party. The former deputy leader told voters to back the Liberal Democrats instead of voting Tory. You’d think this would be huge news. But Laura Kuenssberg seems eerily quiet on the matter.
Tory voters shouldn’t vote Tory
The BBC did report that Heseltine told Conservative voters to vote for former Conservatives standing as independents or Lib Dem candidates.
On 26 November, Heseltine told BBC Radio 4‘s Today show that it’s a “complete nonsense” that Brexit “can be done by Christmas”. He continued:
I cannot vote or support people who are going to make the country poorer and less influential, full stop, end of story.
Yet the BBC‘s political editor has hardly said a word about this. She did send out one tweet on 25 November, when ITV first reported on Heseltine’s Tory takedown:
Another moment in this 2019 campaign that would have seemed totally bonkers a few years ago https://t.co/BLlpS9rqme
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— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) November 25, 2019
But since then, silence.
Her comments about an attack on Jeremy Corbyn by chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis followed immediately after her tweet about Heseltine. But her language is a total contrast.
According to Kuenssberg, this is “unprecedented” and came “blasting” into Labour’s campaign:
Unprecedented for the leader of a major religious group in UK to make this kind of statement in a General Election campaign – and to feel the need to do so – Labour says they have worked extremely hard to combat the problem and Corbyn has fought racism all his life
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) November 25, 2019
And since then, her Twitter feed contains continual references to attacks on the Labour leader. She did note that Lord Dubs was on BBC Radio 4, but not a whisper or mention of Heseltine. Also, she gave no indication of Dubs’ position:
Perhaps tell your followers what Lord Dubs actually said? As you did with the Chief Rabbi and Archbishop’s comments? Or is it only anti-Corbyn statements that get quoted/amplified? https://t.co/FBokankkG0
— Hicham Yezza (@HichamYezza) November 26, 2019
And, as many people also noticed, the BBC itself downplayed Heseltine’s “anti Tory intervention”, choosing to criticise Corbyn instead:
Why is the entire @BBCr4today so far all about Jeremy Corbyn's fitness to be PM? Heseltine's anti Tory intervention is a real threat to the Tories, so they lead with the Chief Rabbi's letter criticising Corbyn.
— Dr Ruth McQuillan 🕷️#PeoplesVote #FBPE #GirlySwot (@mcquillan_ruth) November 26, 2019
Two major stories today re chief rabbi telling people not to vote Labour and Michael Heseltine, yes that's right Michael Heseltine, telling Tory voters to vote LibDem!
Now which story do you think the now Tory controlled BBC and Murdoch etc press have given prominence to!
— Tim Collis (@CollisTim) November 26, 2019
In 30 minutes of #r4today this morning, I heard 4 attacks on Jeremy Corbyn – from a rabbi, from Heseltine, from a DUP bigot, and from reading the tabloid headlines. After two recent instances of editing in favour of Johnson, it's clear this is another example of #BBCBiasAndLies. pic.twitter.com/MLkOlEM8KH
— Ivan White (@ivanwhite48) November 26, 2019
During a general election, the media is bound by special rules on political reporting. As Channel 4 notes in its guidance for producers:
These rules are designed to ensure one party or candidate does not get an advantage over the others and exist in addition to the general rules concerning impartiality.
Clearly the BBC’s blatantly disregarding these rules. It’s already been forced to apologise after editing out audience members laughing at Boris Johnson during the leaders’ debate. And Kuenssberg went all out to back Johnson’s manifesto.
When pro-Tory media bias is this blatant, it becomes even more vital how much we need to vote for change on 12 December.
Featured image via YouTube – BBC News
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