BBC sent furious letter over ‘irresponsible questioning’ in Tory debate ‘Inappropriate!’

Nick Ferrari slams BBC debate between Sunak and Truss

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In a letter to the broadcaster, they rebuked a question to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss that revolves around individual rather than governmental action, and spending a brief amount of time on an issue.

Contenders Mr Sunak and Ms Truss went head-to-head on Monday night as part of their race for the keys to No 10. During the debate, they were asked “what three things should people change in their lives to help tackle climate change faster”. Rishi Sunak put the emphasis on recycling while Liz Truss extolled the virtues of green technology.

The letter, signed by more than 30 environmental campaigners and organisations, said: “The framing of this question is wholly inappropriate, not just because it relegates the issue of climate change below others in the show which were framed as “governmental issues” but because it reinforces the idea that solving climate change is an individual responsibility, rather than one which requires a response from the Prime Minister and their ministers.”

In 2021, the BBC signed up to The Climate Content Pledge, which meant they committed to ensuring their content helped their audience understand what tackling climate change really meant and inspire more sustainable choices.

The letter has called for the broadcaster to improve its coverage of the climate crisis in subsequent leadership coverage, and guarantee that climate change will be treated as an issue of governmental, not solely personal responsibility.

It has also called for the BBC to “recognise that the question in the debate was inadequate”, and the time allocation was too short.

Members of Greenpeace, Christian Aid and the Good Law Project are among those who have added their signature to the letter sent yesterday (WED).

Max Wakefield, director of campaigns at climate charity Possible, said: “In 2019 Possible campaigned for the televised leaders election climate debate because broadcasters were ignoring the severity of the climate crisis. 

“Three years later, little has changed. Instead of asking Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss how they would patch the gaping holes in their climate plans, the BBC posed a question on what individuals can do at home. 

“Prime Ministers are not elected as agony aunts: we don’t need to hear their domestic eco-tips any more than their personal wellness ideas for managing NHS waiting lists. 

“What the public needs is to hear how the next Prime Minister will tackle the climate crisis head on.”

The BBC has been contacted for a comment.

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