Challenge BBC Bias

The BBC has failed to engage meaningfully with over 1,500 complaints of bias in its Panorama programme, ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’

In response, some of those who raised objections escalated their complaints to Ofcom. This body took 3 months to reach a decision simply not to investigate.

Justin Schlosberg is now launching a legal challenge against this outrageous decision. To see this through funds are urgently needed.

We urge you to help as much as you can!

Challenge BBC Bias

The BBC transmitted an edition of Panorama on 10 July called ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’ five months before the recent general election. It contained widely contested allegations that Labour was engulfed by antisemitism and that senior Labour figures close to Jeremy Corbyn had interfered in order to obstruct, delay or otherwise rig the internal investigations process.

This was the third Panorama edition since 2015 that was focused on, and wholly critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party. It contained gross breaches of the BBC’s legal commitment to due impartiality and due accuracy rules including:

– The programme made no mention of the views of hundreds of Jewish members of the Labour Party that were on record contesting those of a select group of members featured on the programme.

– It featured two experts but made no mention of the opposing views of a number of world-renowned experts on antisemitism.

– It included selective extracts from leaked emails that grossly distorted their context and meaning.

– It omitted mention of other leaked emails that demonstrated the exact opposite of the programme’s conclusions (i.e. that the leadership had in fact intervened to encourage more robust and speedier resolution of complaints).

– It included wholly unsubstantiated editorial commentary by the programme’s presenter, John Ware, whose personal opposition to Jeremy Corbyn’s politics is well known.

Rather than engage meaningfully with over 1,500 complaints received about the programme, the BBC responded with a mix of obfuscation and irrational argument. After they had exhausted the BBC’s framework dozens of these complaints progressed to Ofcom which took an extraordinary 12 weeks to reach a decision simply not to investigate.

This decision can and must be legally challenged. Aside from the egregious failure of reporting by the BBC, it represents a wholesale failure of accountability.

I am launching this bid on behalf of a group of complainants. In order to launch formal proceedings, we need to raise £25,000 to cover potential cost liability. This is only to insure against defeat and in the event that we win the case, all donations will be refunded.

Please support this landmark and important case. The future of our democracy hinges on our public service media offering fair and accurate coverage of political controversies, and a regulator that properly holds them to account.

Comments (13)

  • Sean O'Donoghue says:

    Greetings folks,
    I attempted several times to make a donation but system refuses to process it. The Crowdfunder site does appear to have been working very well as lots of people already contributed…I’ll have a check in the morning again to see if it has tipped over the £18k..which will mean it is working. I have contacted Crowdfunder about it.

  • Ruth says:

    Thank you Justin for taking this very necessary step. I’ve just donated and encourage everyone who supports JVL and justice to do likewise!

  • michele poole says:

    I didn’t see the BBC Panorama programme but was horrified at the weaponising of the Holocaust commemoration by Israeli premier Benjamín Netanyahu and the oblique referencing of the Palestinian struggle and the Israeli justification of its occupation. There was no alternative comment. The elephant in the room was indeed Palestine! I donate £20.

  • Clare Palmer says:

    It would be helpful if there was a link to the Ofsted decisions and the reason why they decided not to investigate.

  • Robert Downing says:

    The BBC has become a State Broadcaster for the Tory Party and the extreme right.
    The slide has become so deep and attitudes so entrenched that the BBC no longer considers inappropriate presenters referring to more than half the country as Remaniacs, doctoring video against the Left or attempting to ensure balance.

  • Margaret West says:

    I see that John Ware is suing the Labour Leadership because they
    ” .. smeared the BBC filmmaker”.

    This info is from “Christian United for Israel – UK”
    who In fact misrepresent the position of Ofcom who they say
    “ruled that his documentary was not biased ..”

    All power to your elbow – good luck with your case!

  • Janet Elizabeth Stains says:

    Thank you JVL and Justin. I have just donated, wish the challenge success.
    I am so frustrated that the Labour Party is so supine in not pushing
    back harder than it has done against these false allegations.

  • Emma says:

    Thankyou for taking this decisive action we need more people like you.It gives me hope.
    Good luck with everything.

  • Jennifer Hornsby says:

    The IHRC so-called definition is manifestly not fit for purpose, as any lawyer or person responsible for drawing up workable Codes of Practice would attest.
    I don’t know whether the Programme mentioned the definition. But if the programme makers were in the thrall of that definition, they were in no position to determine whether behaviour was anti-Semitic.

  • John says:

    The BBC is solely motivated by its own interests.
    Any independence or impartiality they may have possessed disappeared long ago – arguably during the time of the 1926 General Strike.
    They have now been forced to admit secretly funding Reuters biased reports.
    See BBC web page:
    The BBC has become simply a tool of the State and the Establishment.
    More contemporaneously, it seems they are now running scared of the Tory high command and the possibility that they may scrap the licence fee.
    That is why they are kow-towing to Tory and Zionist interests in the U.K.
    I will definitely donate to this cause to hold the BBC to account.

  • Marge Berer says:

    I was one of the 1,500 who complained to the BBC. An outrageous programme.

  • sant kundi says:

    All the very best, standards and accountability, is essential for a healthy democracy.
    BBC has always been biased.

  • Doug says:

    It’s a strange world we live in, the BBC are effectively an odds on certainty for this years Darwin award
    They have supped with the devils in the cheap and nasty Tory party and now their masters plan to sell them off or simply run them into the ground
    Do we as Labour members and supporters sit back and enjoy their discomfort, schadenfreude
    Or not

Comments are now closed.