BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Saturday, 4 July 2009


Though you are on the radio, Shaun Ley of 'The World at One', you are being watched.

His interview with William Hague (22.6.09) was notable for the fact that Shaun Ley lied twice during its course. The BBC has been supporting the Labour line that the Conservative Party has left the European mainstream by leaving the EPP in the European Parliament & forming its own grouping with the Czech Civic Democrats and others. The BBC has repeatedly sought to portray the Tories' new partners as "odds and sods" and extremists.

This is how the crucial section of the interview went:

SHAUN LEY: Of course, the Czech party, when they said that, were the party of government. They are not in government any more. They didn't do that well in the European elections. Isn't there a danger that you're allying yourself with parties that are going to be rather marginal in the debate coming in Europe over the next few years?

WILLIAM HAGUE: Well, wait a minute. This is the party that just won the European elections in the Czech Republic, so saying that they didn't do that well is pretty dismissive of an election...

SHAUN LEY (interrupting): Well, they were thrown out by the people in the general election. They're not the party of government in other words, so you're allying yourself with opposition parties.

WILLIAM HAGUE: Actually nor were they thrown out in a general election. They were thrown out by a parliamentary manoeuvre and they're still the leading party of the Czech Republic. Our Polish colleagues are the party of the president of Poland...

SHAUN LEY (interrupting):...but again not the party of government any more. Mr Donald Tusk's party is in...

WILLIAM HAGUE (interrupting): Well the president is one of the governing entities of Poland and our colleagues from Latvia, from the Netherlands and from Finland are all members of the parties that are in coalition government in those countries. So these are not marginal parties. They are mainstream parties that we're very happy to work with.

As Hague noticed, Ley lied when he said the Civic Democrats "were thrown out by the people in the general election". They won the last general election (in 2006) and, as Hague said, lost power in March this year in a parliamentary putsch. A new general election is due in October.

As Hague also noticed, Ley lied again when he said that the Civic Democrats "didn't do that well in the European elections", when they in fact come top, a full 9% ahead of the Social Democrats.

As I say, Shaun Ley, you are being watched!

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