The new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has raged against ‘Left-wing snowflakes’ and once dubbed the BBC a ‘biased Left-wing organisation which is seriously failing in its political representation, from the top down’.
As if to prove her point, she was appointed on the very day the Beeb unveiled one Jess Brammar as its new executive news editor.
While 64-year-old Dorries – a novelist and reality TV star who once ate an ostrich’s nether parts on I’m a Celebrity – can be outspoken and divisive, Miss Brammar has turned baiting Tories into an art form.
This June, Maitlis was meanwhile forced to delete a tweet accusing the Government of ‘failing to properly protect the country from a pandemic’
Nadine Dorries – a novelist and reality TV star who once ate an ostrich’s nether parts on I’m a Celebrity – can be outspoken and divisive
The former editor of Left-wing website HuffPost UK, Brammar recently tried (and failed) to erase evidence of her hard-Left sympathies by deleting more than 16,000 Twitter posts.
They included tweets from the last election campaign in which she repeatedly called Boris Johnson a liar, claimed that ‘Black Brits’ were ‘genuinely considering leaving the UK because of the level of racism, particularly if Boris Johnson wins’ and gleefully promoted ‘the group of young women behind the #FCKBoris posters’ on the London Underground.
Elsewhere, she has argued that the term ‘woke’ is a ‘dogwhistle’, compared Brexit to a bad comedy ‘like [Netflix’s] Better Call Saul but less funny or interesting or enjoyable’, and urged people to ‘fight for a properly funded NHS’.
The former editor of Left-wing website HuffPost UK, Brammar recently tried (and failed) to erase evidence of her hard-Left sympathies by deleting more than 16,000 Twitter posts
On other occasions, Brammar has accused the former foreign secretary Dominic Raab of being sexually insecure on the grounds that he once said he was ‘probably not’ a feminist, described a shortage of home-testing sexual health kits as the ‘reality of austerity Britain’, endorsed the view that ‘transphobia is rife in the gender-based violence sector’, and so on.
Brammar is just one individual. Yet there is undoubtedly a widely held perception that the BBC has an overwhelming tilt to the Left, not just in its newsroom but other areas, too, such as comedy shows.
And this is important. For, unlike other broadcasters, the BBC – funded, as it is, by licence-payers who can be arrested if they do not stump up – has a duty of impartiality.
Of course, questions of impartiality and bias can be subjective.
But one objective way of finding out whether there is bias in the BBC newsroom is to examine what those who work there – from the leading lights to the less well known – write and, perhaps more importantly, ‘like’ on social media.
Here, GUY ADAMS does just that – and suggests there are, indeed, a number of culprits that woke-loathing Ms Dorries might want to get her teeth into...NEWSNIGHT POLICY CHIEF WITH A HARD-LEFT AGENDA
In 2018, Lewis Goodall wrote a book singing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn called Left for Dead? The Strange Death and Rebirth of the Labour Party
Lewis Goodall, the policy editor of Newsnight, has never sought to hide his hard-Left agenda.
While studying history and politics at Oxford, he began writing opinion pieces for The Guardian, which described him as a Labour Party activist and blogger, and after graduating he worked for the Left-wing Institute for Public Policy Research.
In 2018, he wrote a book singing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn called Left for Dead? The Strange Death and Rebirth of the Labour Party.
By then, he was a political correspondent for Sky News with a reputation for using social media to mount vigorous attacks on Brexit and the Tory party.
When Boris Johnson was at the centre of a row in 2018 over his remarks likening Muslim women wearing burkas to letterboxes and bank robbers, Mr Goodall compared him to the late Tory MP Enoch Powell, and accused him of fuelling racist attacks.
‘Burkagate reminds us you can say whatever you like in Britain, be rude or even prejudiced and be respected for it, so long as you’re posh and powerful,’ he argued, saying Johnson’s remark ‘legitimises the prejudices of others, further down the class food chain – it suggests that certain things which probably ought not to be alright, in fact are.
That is why I give the suggestion that there has been an increase in the numbers of attacks on women wearing the niqab in recent days absolute credibility.’
Later, when Johnson became PM and prorogued Parliament, Mr Goodall used Twitter to accuse him of ‘embarrassing the Queen’, which he described as ‘astounding’.
He added that the Tory party was increasingly ‘willing to tolerate a leader who does things/says things they never would have been willing to countenance previously just because they think he’ll bring them electoral success’, adding that it mimicked the ‘slow nervous breakdown on the Right’ in the US.
Naturally, he sailed into a job at the BBC where he continued his outspoken attacks on the Tory government, one of them last year in a cover story for the Left-wing New Statesman magazine, headlined: ‘Failed: How the Government’s ineptitude created a lost generation.’
This was criticised by Sir Robbie Gibb, former director of communications at No 10 and ex-head of the BBC’s Westminster unit, who said: ‘Is there anyone more damaging to the BBC’s reputation for impartiality than Lewis Goodall? This is so off the scale I don’t even know where to begin.’
Goodall’s partisanship continues to this day. A couple of weeks back, BBC bosses forced him to delete a tweet describing critics of Brammar’s appointment as ‘unhinged’ and ‘misogynistic’.NEWSNIGHT HOST WITH IMPARTIALITY ISSUES
A serial offender, Newsnight host Emily Maitlis most famously delivered a staggeringly partisan attack on both Dominic Cummings and the Prime Minister last May, declaring – before any independent investigation had been carried out – that the former had ‘broken the rules’ during lockdown on a visit to his family home in County Durham and made the public ‘feel like fools’, accusing the PM of ‘blind loyalty’.
There were 20,000 complaints and the BBC censured her, saying the remarks failed to meet ‘standards of due impartiality’.
In September 2019, the corporation’s complaints unit found against her for a ‘sneering and bullying’ interview in which she asked the pro-Brexit journalist Rod Liddle if he would describe himself ‘as a racist’, saying ‘many see you that way’ and claiming: ‘All you do is write about suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Tower Hamlets.’
Liddle responded: ‘Do you have to, at every possible juncture, show the BBC’s grotesque bias?’ For more bias, one need only venture on to her Twitter feed, where she once accused Boris Johnson of ‘fuelling racism’.
There, Maitlis last May retweeted LBC radio presenter and arch-Remainer James O’Brien saying: ‘The far-Right routinely disseminate and pretend to believe things they know not to be true to stoke hatred and division.
'To see the tactic being adopted by Conservative MPs and even an actual minister is a moment of real danger for our democracy.’
During the first lockdown, she shared remarks by an anti-Tory doctor who said: ‘I’m so grateful you are calling out the lies, u-turns and incompetence of this government’, and by Times columnist Jenni Russell who argued: ‘Boris was never up to the job of crisis leader... We’re being led by bunch of inadequates.’
This June, Maitlis was meanwhile forced to delete a tweet accusing the Government of ‘failing to properly protect the country from a pandemic’.THE RISING STAR AND BREXIT MOANER
Mr Rotherham had decided to mock then Brexit secretary Dominic Raab’s decision to quit in protest at Theresa May’s deal
A rising star of the BBC newsroom who cut his teeth as a graduate political reporter for Radio One, Nick Rotherham was in 2018 made inaugural chairman of the BBC’s ‘Under 30s News Panel’, a committee created to help promising young journalists shape the future of its current affairs output.
Last summer, he was promoted to ‘senior news editor, commissioning’. But with his growing profile came increased scrutiny and, in July, it emerged