EXCLUSIVE: BBC left-wing political bias illustrated through UK political funding revelations

A freedom of information request has revealed shocking BBC bias towards left-wing political parties in the United Kingdom

by The Commentator on 31 October 2012 17:30


A freedom of information (FOI) response seen by The Commentator has revealed unjustifiable bias in the BBC's approach to UK politcal parties.

The request has forced the BBC into showing its financial levels of participation in political party conferences and events, as well as in traveling with political party campaigns. 

The BBC has often come under fire for its 'political bias', a position that it has always robustly defended against.

But the new revelations will once again create a problem for the BBC in defending its political coverage and indeed the very nature of the licence fee. 

The freedom of information request shows that over the past 10 years, the BBC has spent £335,000 with the Labour Party, £295,000 with the Liberal Democrats and just £96,000 with the Conservatives. 

The letter, signed off by Nigel Etienne, BBC Projects and Planning Manager, states, "I can confirm that the BBC has spent the following amounts with registered political parties in United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, in the last 10 complete financial years (being 01 April to 31 March for the Financial Years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011). These figure comprises items such as conference fees, exhibition space and conference pass fees. 

The break down is as follows: 



A BBC spokesperson told The Commentator: “The BBC’s engagement with the major UK wide political parties is fairly similar and the overall yearly spend would therefore be broadly the same for each party. The figures in this FOI only show the direct spend with parties themselves, not with any third parties who run events and collect fees on their behalf. As the Conservative Party conference is routinely contracted out to a third party supplier, the BBC’s payments to them would not be shown in this FOI.”

The information will cause a new headache for the BBC which is currently mired in scandal surrounding the late presenter Jimmy Savile

Previously, the BBC has also refused to release information pertaining to its Middle East coverage, which campaigners have urged the disclosure of due to repeated allegations of inherent bias within the organisation. The BBC has spent over £330,000 of licence fee payers' money in order to stop the Balen Report being released.

Mark Thompson, the previous director general of the BBC stated in 2010, "In the BBC I joined 30 years ago, there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left. The organisation did struggle then with impartiality."

Former Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Margaret Thatcher once said: "I have fought three elections against the BBC and don't want to fight another against it."

In 2006, the Conservative Party grandee Lord Tebbit remarked: "The BBC was always against Lady Thatcher."

It appears now that the BBC did not simply once hold an anti-Thatcher bias, but rather holds an inherent anti-Conservative bias. The figures, already hard enough to defend against, shows the Liberal Democrats getting more financing and more attention from the BBC, despite the fact that the party is now the 3rd or 4th largest party in Britain, while the Conservatives hold the majority of the seats in government. 

The Liberal Democrats hold just a fraction of the seats in Parliament compared to Labour and the Conservatives. 

The BBC has noted in the freedom of information release, "political parties can, and do, enter into agreements with 3rd parties to run their events and collect all fees on their behalf. For example, the organisation of the Conservative Party conference is routinely contracted out to a third party supplier."

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