Brexit BBC 'bias' claims: Michael Gove says 'those who voted Leave deserve respect'

Michael Gove suggests the media should be more positive regarding Brexit

Michael Gove says there is a negative mindset among the media towards Brexit

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Former minister Michael Gove has said the people who voted for Brexit "deserve respect" after MPs wrote to the director-general of the BBC complaining of its perceived bias on the subject.

A total of 72 MPs wrote to the director-general saying the BBC is "unfairly representing" Leave voters and warned the future of the Corporation "will be in doubt" if it doesn't adopt a more neutral stance.

Gove, who played a key role in the Leave campaign last summer, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "I have to be careful because I am a journalist, I write a column for the Times, so I'm always a wee bit weary about criticising others in my profession.

"[But] there is a mindset among some who see Brexit as a catastrophe, and who look at any bit of good news we have as occurring despite Brexit.

"Any news outlet should bear in mind that 17.4 million voted to leave and... they deserve respect."

Gove also said he remains "very positive" about the chances of a deal with Brussels, suggesting European politicians are far more positive and constructive in private than they are in public.

The Leave campaign has been criticised for the perceived empty promises it made during the referendum campaign, notably on the NHS. But Gove said he remains confident that the health service will be boosted by Britain's departure from the EU.

He told Julia: "We're going to get £350 million back, we're going to get control of that money.

"I've always argued that £100 million should be spent on the NHS, additional, every week. By 2020 I would be amazed, once we've left the European Union, if we're not spending more on the NHS.

"But as I'm not in government my capacity to influence that depends on me making the case as politely as I can from the backbenches and hoping the Chancellor of the Exchequer might agree."