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A senior journalist for the Financial Times (FT) has questioned the BBC over their reporting on Boris Johnson’s first outing at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on the BBC News at Ten.
Writing on Twitter, Henry Mance, the Chief Feature Writer for the FT, wrote that “nearly everyone who watched PMQs live thought Boris Johnson was disastrous“.
However, Mance then went on to claim that if you were “watching the BBC’s 10 o’clock news, you would think he’d won it.“
Funny old world – nearly everyone who watched PMQs live thought Boris Johnson was disastrous, but watching the BBC’s 10 o’clock news, you would think he’d won it.
— Henry Mance (@henrymance) September 4, 2019
The Financial Times is widely regarded as a pillar of the British establishment, and for a senior FT journalist to openly question the supposedly impartial BBC over their political coverage is almost certainly unprecedented.
The astonishment was summed up neatly in the comments, with one Twitter user stating that:
“A Financial Time leader journalist calling out the BBC for their Tory bias, the world is falling off its axis.”
A Financial Times leader journalist calling out the BBC for their Tory bias, the world is falling off it's axis.
— Mr Socko (@laotianrockrat) September 4, 2019
Whilst Tom Kibasi, Director of the IPPR Thinktank, said:
“It really says something when a senior FT journalist points out that BBC News is misleading the public with its pro-Johnson bias.”
It really says something when a senior FT journalist points out that BBC News is misleading the public with its pro-Johnson bias. https://t.co/V0IPPA6DgO
— Tom Kibasi (@TomKibasi) September 4, 2019
Following his initial tweet, Mance later stated that the BBC’s coverage of PMQs may not have been a case of intentional bias, but simply because of the massively shortened format making it appear as if Johnson had been better than he actually was:
Somehow this tweet went nuts. To be clear, the point is about watching highlights versus the whole thing. To borrow an analogy from someone, it's like Paolo Wauchope looking terrible for 90 minutes but great on MOTD. Doesn't mean that MOTD is biased
— Henry Mance (@henrymance) September 5, 2019
Boris Johnson faced an absolute barrage of criticism for his performance during yesterday’s PMQs, with the vast majority concluding that Jeremy Corbyn had been the clear and obvious victor.
Corbyn asked the PM six questions – as is customary – to which he received absolutely no direct answers and what have been described as ‘childish jibes’ in return.
You can watch how the BBC summarised yesterday’s PMQs battle between Johnson and Corbyn in their 10 o’clock programme below: