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Steerpike

Nick Robinson tackles anti-Corbyn bias at the BBC

16 November 2015

5:16 PM

16 November 2015

5:16 PM

During the summer over 50,000 people signed a petition accusing the BBC of showing bias against Jeremy Corbyn. One major grievance was that presenters regularly referred to the Labour leader as ‘left wing’. While the corporation issued a statement at the time defending their coverage, it appears that even one of their own staff was left unhappy by their efforts. Step forward Nick Robinson.

Over the weekend the BBC’s former political editor confessed — in an interview in the Sunday Times — that he had written to several BBC colleagues over concerns that the corporation’s political coverage is biased against Jeremy Corbyn. When asked by Lynn Barber whether he was ‘shocked’ by the way the BBC ‘rubbish Jeremy Corbyn’, Robinson replied ‘yes’:

‘Yes. Oddly, although I was off work, I did drop a note to a few people after his first weekend saying this is really interesting and we owe it to the audience to sound as if we’re interested.’

In fact, Robinson — who was the president of the Oxford University Conservative Association during his time as a student — appears to be rather enamoured with the new Labour leader, attending a Corbyn rally just for fun:

‘Even though I was off work, I was so frustrated that I couldn’t cover Corbyn’s election, I took myself off to a Corbyn rally. My wife thought I was very sad, but I thought, I’ve got to go and see this for myself!’

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Still, Mr S suspects that not all of Robinson’s former colleagues will be pleased by his intervention.


Join us for a Spectator debate on 18 November at Church House, Westminster – Is the BBC really a national treasure? Speakers include Melvyn Bragg and James Purnell, director of strategy and digital at the BBC. Chaired by Andrew Neil. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

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