Former BBC journalist demands investigation into broadcaster

John Sweeney (L) is confronted by Tommy Robinson

Monday, November 25, 2019

Former BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney has publically accused the corporation of suppressing investigations into Tommy Robinson, Peter Mandelson and Arron Banks.

In a letter to Ofcom published on his website he said the broadcaster blocked reports relating to the “far-right, Russia and Brexit” and demanded a “thorough investigation”.

He accused BBC management of becoming “risk-averse in the face of threats from the far-right and the Russian state” at the cost of investigative journalism.

Mr Sweeney, who left Panorama in October after 17 years with the broadcaster, said he believed passionately in the BBC’s mission and was grateful to colleagues for their “great work for the public good”.

His said Panorama decided not to air a report on Tommy Robinson that suggested he was being directly funded by Kremlin money and that BBC management “weakened” films he made about Leave-EU co-founder Arron Banks that also suggested Russian connections.

He claimed he complained to BBC management when he was employed there but that most “did not seriously engage” with his concerns and said he had suggestions to “reform and develop” the OfCom code.

He also sent letters to the heads of the parliament’s media committee and intelligence and foreign affairs committee.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

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