The BBC have long attempted to claim that their political output is completely neutral, and that it strictly adheres to their own guidelines against bias. However, the Beeb’s continued employment of Andrew Neil – a man who edits the hard-right Spectator magazine, and who continues to make a mockery of BBC political impartiality rules with increasingly outspoken political rants on Twitter – has cast a dark shadow over the corporation’s claims to political neutrality.
During his time at the University of Glasgow, Neil was a member of the Uni’s Conservative club, and in 1971 he became the chairman of the official Tory Student organisation, the Federation of Conservative Students
After his graduation, Neil was handed a job in the Conservative Party Research Department.
Following this, Neil branched out into political journalism, becoming a correspondent with The Economist in 1973, and from 1983-1994 he was the Editor of the right-wing Murdoch-owned Sunday Times newspaper – a position he used to appoint as a writer Britain’s foremost Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist, David Irving.
And Neil’s ridiculously partisan links to the right-wing British establishment, including the literal Conservative Party, don’t end there by a long shot though.
In 1996 he became a contributor with the ever-impartial Daily Mail, and was outspoken in his fevered enthusiasm for the devastating Western-led wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, even going as far as labeling one opponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq as “woolly, wimpy” and “juvenile“.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Neil also questions man-made climate change, and has regularly attempted to ridicule the scientific consensus on the theory by referring to the 98% of scientists who advocate it as “the climate mafia”.
Furthermore, whilst he was editor at the Sunday Times, his newspaper ran a series of articles attempting to deny that HIV caused Aids – a horrendously harmful conspiracy theory which has since been proven as such.
Judging by his blatant past jobs with the Conservative Party and the right-wing British Establishment, added to his deeply disturbing personal opinions and associations, it seems incredible that such a person would be chosen to front the political journalism of a supposedly impartial public broadcaster.
However, in early 2003, the BBC did just that – appointing Neil as the main host of This Week on BBC One, and The Daily Politics show on BBC Two.
Neil has also presented other BBC political shows including Straight Talk with Andrew Neil on the BBC News Channel, Sunday Politics – the sister show to Daily Politics – and also briefly guest-presented for the BBC’s flagship political news and current affairs programme, Newsnight.
However, during the run up to the the vote for Brexit and after, Neil’s incredibly partisan views – distributed on his personal Twitter feed to almost 850k followers – have made a fresh mockery of the BBC’s ongoing claims to political impartiality.
Whilst Neil’s constant pro-Brexit tweets are one thing, the BBC host’s incredibly forthright tweets have also now delved into the realms of outright abuse.
Earlier this month, Neil was forced to delete a tweet aimed at the Carole Cadwalladr, in which he labelled the Guardian journalist a “mad cat woman”.
There has been some discussion on here regarding a tweet from Andrew Neil about Carole Cadwalladr. He has deleted the tweet and recognises it was inappropriate.
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) November 13, 2018
Following Neil’s tweet, the BBC came under significant pressure to part company with the Politics Live host, with numerous fellow journalists also expressing their outrage at Neil’s brazen misogyny.
However, Neil has now added another bow to his ever-growing repertoire – that of being an undeniable and unashamed hypocrite.
Yes, despite his absolutely unquestionable political bias, Neil had the temerity to label another BBC show – The Mash Report – as biased. Seriously.
But on the weekend, The Mash Report responded to Neil’s astonishing hypocrisy, and it was utterly incredible to watch.
Do take a watch of Andrew Neil being utterly destroyed on his own channel below: