Brexit 'bias' claims: MP who wrote letter says 'BBC staff see themselves as citizens of the world... but most people don't'

BBC Brexit coverage: 'Letter is not a bashing, I'm concerned they're not connecting, says Julian Knight MP

The MP who wrote the letter to Lord Hall spoke to Julia about his decision

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

An MP who helped write the letter claiming the BBC's Brexit coverage is biased has told talkRADIO that while many at the Corporation "see themselves as citizens of the world" most British people do not.

Julian Knight played a leading role in drafting the letter which was eventually signed by more than 70 MPs, expressing a fear the BBC could undermine "attempts to create a global role" for Britain via coverage which it alleges reflects "pre-referendum pessimism."

Knight told Julia Hartley-Brewer that, far from "bashing" the BBC, the letter was simply an attempt to ensure the Corporation doesn't alienate the public it purports to represent.

He said: "I would caution against this being a BBC bashing. My real issue is I’m concerned they are not connecting.

"The BBC see themselves as citizens of the world, and this is out of line with the people who pay the licence fee.

"I’ve real fear as a result of this, not only will it be alienate from the 52% who voted Leave, but also the 48% of people who, like me, voted to Remain and just want to get on with it.

"The BBC is omnipresent with a massive influence on other media culture, and it needs to follow its own rules."

The BBC has given a statement to respond to the allegations: "It is the BBC's job to scrutinise and analyse the issues on behalf of the public, and to hold politicians to account.

"That is what the BBC has been doing and what we will continue to do. It is precisely because of this the public trust the BBC."