BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Friday, 24 July 2009


The king of lunchtime bias, Shaun Ley, reported from Norwich North today, just after the result was announced and made a prize fool of himself again, interrupting the Conservative's Theresa May to ask, "But it is a swing of 6.29% which wouldn't be quite enough for you at a general election." This was, of course, no such swing. The real swing was 16.5%. Shaun gets his facts wrong again! Let's put that one down to mere incompetence.

The clip of the declaration featured on the programme heard the returning officer's announcement of the results for Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens, the Conservatives and...oh, there was no 'and'. UKIP (the fourth placed party) was airbrushed from history again. Bias?

Ley's own reporting from outside a polling station the previous day is more telling perhaps in its bias. He found a couple, one of whom voted Labour and one of whom voted Conservative, much to her husband's disgust - cue much joshing. Then he found a Green voter. Then a voter for Uzbek Craig (one of only 953 such voters). No UKIP voters. Did he really not find any UKIP voters to feature in his report, when he found room for those supporting a Green and a nonentity?

His interview with Theresa May lasted 2 minutes 56, contained 6 questions, 3 interruptions and scored an I.C. of 1.2.

His interview with Harriet Harman (Labour) lasted 3 minutes 08, contained only 3 questions amd 2 interruptions, achieving an I.C. of 0.6.

It was, consequently, twice as tough.

His questions to Mrs. May reflected the BBC 'narrative' - that the anti-Labour result in Norwich North was down to "a pretty extraordinary combination of local factors", rather than the more likely explanation that it was a huge groundswell of loathing or contempt for the Labour government, and that the expenses scandal has hit all parties equally: "Did you find people saying, 'Look, a plague on all your houses'?"

Shaun Ley has been grossly over-promoted.

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