BBC Journalist accused of 'covering for the Tories' after blaming public for rise in Covid cases

The BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent has been severely criticised and accused of ‘covering for the Tories‘ after overlooking the vast impact of government policy in the recent rise in Coronavirus cases and instead simply blaming it on the public.

Cases of Covid-19 have been rising sharply across the country, with the scientific consensus being that the government’s relaxation of lockdown rules has been the main factor.

In the last few months the government has sent children and teachers back to school, encouraged people to go back out to restaraunts and pubs with their ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme, and demanded that workers go back to the office instead of working from home.

All of these factors have clearly been a huge factor in the rising number of cases across the country – however, the BBC’s Daniel Sandford appears to disagree.

Writing on Twitter, Sandford tweeted a graphic detailing the sharp rise in cases of Covid-19 over the past fortnight on Merseyside.

Alongside the graphic, Sandford included a caption which completely ignored the government’s role in the rising cases, and instead blamed the public – stating:

“Liverpool is just an example of how the number of Covd-19 infections has ballooned in a fortnight. Everyone really needs to start remembering all the rules. Hand-washing, masks, distancing, minimising unnecessary contact. How did we forget so soon?

Furthermore, when challenged on his failure to report the government’s role in the situation, Sandford simply doubled down:

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Given that the BBC is supposed to be an impartial broadcaster which reports all sides of a story fairly, Sandford’s tweets were swiftly criticised by large numbers of social media users.

The Guardian journalist Owen Jones wrote:

“Rather than blaming the public, shouldn’t the media spend more time scrutinising how the government’s “back to work everyone!” drive – which inevitably means busier public transport – along with “go to the pub!” and “eat out to help out!” is chiefly to blame?”

https://twitter.com/OwenJones84/status/1306954124181876740?s=20

And numerous others shared Jones’ sentiment:

https://twitter.com/JayRoberts86/status/1306964958698242049?s=20

https://twitter.com/MaxiaZeta/status/1306959558817067009?s=20

Before the 2019 General Election, trust in the BBC’s news reporting had remained relatively stable.

However, during the election campaign the BBC made numerous “mistakes”, all of which just happened to benefit Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, including:

  • The BBC’s Chief Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg falsely claimed a Labour activist had punched a Tory advisor
  • Kuenssberg was accused of breaking electoral law after revealing postal vote information before the official ballot
  • The BBC edited out a Question Time audience laughing at Boris Johnson
  • The BBC labelled Jeremy Corbyn’s broadband policy “Communist”
  • BBC bigwigs reportedly said that exposing Boris Johnson’s numerous lies would be wrong because it ‘undermines public trust in democracy’.
  • The BBC reported the story that 88% of Tory General Election adverts were misleading or outright lies, compared to none of Labour’s, by framing it as if both parties were somehow as bad as each other
  • The BBC was accused of trying to cover up Boris Johnson’s Remembrance Day gaffe by mysteriously using old footage from 2016
  • The BBC allowed Boris Johnson to dodge a grilling with Andrew Neil and refused to empty chair him – despite the fact the BBC empty-chaired a Labour MP weeks before the 2010 General Election

Following the election, BBC staff expressed fear that the corporation’s coverage had been biased and that public trust in their output would inevitably suffer – but the then Director General simply dismissed widespread criticism as “conspiracy theories“.

However, BBC staff were correct – with polling showing a sharp decline in public trust in the broadcaster’s reporting.

Despite this, in the past 9 months since the election, the BBC’s pro-government “mistakes” have simply continued unabated:

  • In March, Laura Kuenssberg was accused of lying about a change in coronavirus science in order to protect the government
  • In July, the BBC refused to report the fact that the Tories had voted to keep the NHS on the table for future post-Brexit trade deals
  • And, just 3 days later, the BBC was forced to delete a bizarre cartoon depicting the Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak as a superhero

And we can also now add the BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent Daniel Sandford to the ever-increasing list of pro-government BBC blunders.

But, if you thought the BBC’s output couldn’t possibly decline any further, it’s probably worth noting that the BBC’s new Director General, Tim Davie, is a literal former Conservative Party election candidate and ex-deputy chairman of his local Tory Party.

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