The BBC has this afternoon come under fire by influential MPs, condemning the organisation for giving a one sided advertising boost to a U.S. owned left-wing news website for an entire day.
Former Digital Minister Ed Vaizy has thrown the BBC’s judgement into question:
“It seems very odd for the BBC to be partnering with any news organisation at all, given their role in providing impartial news. But if they are, in the interests of getting younger voices, then there need to be a range of views, not just the exclusive view of one editorial standpoint.
When the Today Programme has guest editors, they at least ensure they come from both left and right. 5 Live should do the same if they are going down this road.”
Julian Knight, a member of the powerful Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee, which oversees the BBC, has told Guido that the BBC has questions to answer…
“This is yet another instance in a long line of left-wing and left leaning people brought in to run key editorial content at the BBC. Huffington Post has a very particular leaning, and the BBC has questions to answer over its supposed impartiality.
It feels at the moment that the BBC is alienating a large chunk of the audience, something that will damage it in the long run.”
With the left-wing Huffington Post’s “twenties takeover” the BBC is ceding editorial control to a rival media organisation. Don’t they have enough of their own young left-wing journalists?
UPDATE: Former Conservative Vice Chair for Youth Ben Bradley weighs in…
“I’m all for a focus on young people, and engaging young people with creating their news content. I’m sure that could be a very positive thing, but as an organisation that has its own vast team of journalists, including some in their 20s that I’ve met and worked with myself, I don’t really see why they need to outsource.
If they really need help why would they reach out to an organisation that anyone operating in the political sphere would recognise as having a left-leaning bias. They may as well have drafted in the Guardian or the Mirror. It’s only going to drive the theory that they’re not as balanced as they’re meant to be!”
Responding to a written question from Julian Knight MP, Robert Goodwill, the immigration minister hinted that the blue passport will be back “We are considering potential changes to the UK passport after the UK has left the European Union. At this early stage we have not undertaken a detailed cost benefit analysis or made any decisions about what a future UK passport might look like.”
Elsewhere David Davis was pressed on the return of the blue passport by Andrew Rosindell “Can you make some small symbolic action to show that you are serious? Some of us have jitters. Could we have our blue passports back rather than the pink things?”
Davis disappointed “Attractive as the idea is, I’m not in the business of symbolism, I’m in the business of delivering,” he told Rosindell and the rest of the foreign affairs select committee. If not Davis than it must be a job for Boris, who whilst he is formally the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is informally the minister for cheering us all up. Why can’t Boris start re-issuing the traditional blue passport from the day after Article 50 is triggered?