Fury as BBC branded ‘incapable’ of impartiality over vile Sunak insult

Rishi Sunak: BBC suffer blunder with word cloud

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The BBC is facing fresh calls for its licence fee to be scrapped after a word cloud it shared described new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as a “liar”, “c***” and “t**t” in a live broadcast.  Market research company Savanta ComRes produced a graphic showing a cluster of words which were answers from people asked how they would describe Mr Sunak.

Other words included “rich”, “reliable”, “intelligent” and “competent”. The words “elitist”, “bold” and “boring” were also offered by members of the public.

The BBC picked up on the word cloud, displaying it in a news item, but without censoring some of the more insulting words.

Rebecca Ryan, Campaign Director at Defund the BBC, told “The BBC is simply incapable of delivering impartial broadcasting and therefore Britons must no longer be forced to pay for it.

“During his first leadership campaign, Rishi Sunak told the Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs that a Government led by him would scrap the BBC licence fee. Defund the BBC will be holding him to that pledge.”

Meanwhile, polling by YouGov shows Britons are divided over how well Mr Sunak will do as PM.

A quarter (25 percent) expect him to be great or good, 29 percent think he will be average and another 29 percent think he will be poor or terrible, according to YouGov.

Mr Sunak’s results represent an improvement over his predecessor Liz Truss, whom 52 percent of Britons expected to do a bad job, YouGov says.

A large majority of Britons (68 percent) expect Mr Sunak to do a better job as prime minister than Ms Truss.

The BBC’s word cloud gaffe comes after the broadcaster suffered a backlash when presenter Maxine Croxall appeared to greet Boris Johnson bowing out of the race to be Tory leader with glee.

Ms Croxall told viewers of The Papers show not long after Mr Johnson announced he would not stand: “Well this is all very exciting, isn’t it? Am I allowed to be this gleeful? Well, I am.”


In an initial question to guests appearing on the programme, Ms Croxall asked: “Can we even show you the front pages just yet, have they arrived? No, they haven’t arrived.

“It’s all a little bit, you know,, isn’t it? Because all the front pages were probably out of date by the time we received them.”

Ms Croxall later suggested that her comments may have broken the BBC’s strict rules.

Laughing at jibes directed towards Mr Johnson, she said: “I shouldn’t probably [laugh]. I’m probably breaking some terrible due impartiality rule by giggling.”

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Some viewers took to social media to vent their fury about the comments and complain of bias.

This included former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who wrote: “This lack of impartiality demonstrates how deep-seated the bias is.”

Neil O’Brien, the Conservative MP for Harborough, tweeted: “Aaaaargh. The BBC is supposed to be one bulwark against the slide into a US-style new media cesspit – it is so self destructive for them to do this. Aaargh!”

Nick Timothy, a former Downing Street Chief of Staff, wrote: “Whatever you think of Johnson, if you care about the BBC you cannot think this is in any way acceptable from one of its presenters.”

The BBC is understood to have been urgently studying the presenter’s comments to determine if there has been any breach of its strict impartiality guidelines.

A spokesman said: “BBC News is urgently reviewing last night’s edition of The Papers on the News channel for a potential breach of impartiality.

“It is imperative we maintain the highest editorial standards. We have processes in place to uphold our standards and these processes have been activated.”

Last week, Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy was taken off air for a week after he swore at MP Steve Baker following an interview.

The broadcaster said the presenter’s outburst towards the Tory MP had breached its “strict” code of conduct.

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