Newsnight complaints – what to do next

JVL has been inundated with messages from both members and non-members outraged at Kirsty Wark’s hostile treatment of  Jenny Manson on Newsnight on 17 November. Many messages told us they were going to complain to the BBC.

We are now getting contacted by people infuriated by the dismissive standard response they are all receiving and asking our advice on what to do next, so we have prepared this advice note.

KIrsty Wark is blamelessThe BBC, in response to many individual and varied complaints about Kirsty Wark’s interview of Jenny Manson on Newsnight on 17  November, have sent out this standard, bland statement:

Thank you for contacting us regarding Newsnight, broadcast on Tuesday 17th November.

The decision to readmit Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour Party was a controversial one and Newsnight sought to examine the different reactions there had been and what that meant for the party leadership. Jenny Manson was interviewed because she supports Jeremy Corbyn and represents Jewish Voice for Labour, a group within the party with strong views on this issue. She was challenged on how widely her opinions are shared across the Jewish community, and Kirsty Wark put to her research from the Campaign for Anti-Semitism and the views of the British Board of Deputies. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines require us to report with due impartiality and accuracy and we are confident that viewers will have understood she holds a minority view within the British Jewish community but that she also represents a strand of thinking within Labour which is important in understanding the internal debate about how the Labour party deals with anti-Semitism.

The interview with the former MP Louise Ellman was similarly robust. Kirsty Wark challenged her on whether she would have accepted an apology from Mr Corbyn and pointed out that he had accepted that the claims of anti-Semitism were not exaggerated. While no two interviews are ever the same and we approach each on their individual merits, we consider that Kirsty treated both guests fairly and appropriately.

Kind regards,

BBC Complaints Team

The BBC have examined themselves and after a careful process of contemplation, they have looked in the mirror and declared themselves ‘practically perfect in every way’.

Their complaints process makes the Labour Party’s, at it worst, look positively stellar.

We all have the same totally inadequate response the next stage is to appeal. It is not obvious how to do this either from the response or the BBC website.This is unusual, all competent complaints procedures indicate clearly what to do if you are unhappy with the response.

We found this helpful document only through a google search

Page 15.

Stage 1b: If I’m not satisfied with the reply, what can I do next?

If you are dissatisfied with the reply at Stage 1a, please write back to BBC   Audience   Services,   as   set   out   in under  ‘Where  to  direct complaints’ above,  within 20 working days of the date on which you received  the  response  at  Stage  1a.    If  you  write  after  that  time, please  explain  why  your  complaint  is  late.  Exceptionally,  the  BBC may  still  consider  your  complaint,  if  it  decides  there  was  a  good reason  for  the  delay.

If  the  BBC  decides  not  to  consider  your complaint  because  it  is  late,  you  can  ask  the  Executive  Complaints Unit to review that decision. Your complaint should clearly and concisely set out why you remain dissatisfied.  It should not exceed 1,000 words. In exceptional circumstances, longer complaints  may  be  entertained. These  should  be  sent  in writing by post, not via the web form, identifying the reasons your  complaint  exceeds  1,000  words  and  providing  a  one-page summary of your complaint;•include any reference number provided;•include  the  points  that  you  raised  at  Stage  1a  that  you  want the BBC to reconsider.  The BBC will not consider new points unless,  exceptionally,  it  is  necessary  to  do  so  in  the  interests of fairness. If the BBC receives a number of complaints about the same issue, it may  apply  the  steps  as  set  out under the BBC’s response at Stage 1a above.

Page 14.

Stage 1a allows them to:

If  the BBC receives a number of complaints about the same issue, it may:

  • compile a summary of all the main points raised;

  • consider them together;

  • send the same response to everyone (Such responses may not address points the BBC judges to be minor or insubstantial)

Each individual should, if they  have got the energy, submit an appeal which both addresses the general dismissive approach and most importantly highlights significant items in their original complaint that they have not addressed; challenging the BBC’s view that they are “minor or insubstantial”.

If you are not satisfied with the response to your appeal, the BBC will tell you how to take your complaint to the Executive Complaints Unit. If you still have not received what you judge to be a satisfactory response, you can then approach Ofcom; they request that complaints are submitted via their online complaints system.

At each stage there are time limits that are binding on the complainant and advisory for the BBC.

Comments (56)

  • Doug says:

    Ask the BBC what Kirsty Wark meant when she referred to people like Jenny Manson and her ilk
    That was just wrong on so many levels
    Sounds like ‘wrong kind of Jew’
    Folk on here better qualified than me on what to do next
    From experience you are wasting your time going through their complaints process, they are Judge and Jury

  • dave says:

    “Kirsty Wark put to her research from the Campaign for Anti-Semitism and the views of the British Board of Deputies.”

    And there we have it: an admission that the BBC relies on biased and often laughably inadequate ‘research’ in the case of the CAA, a bogus charity that JVL has reported to the Charities Commission. As a journalist myself all I can say is that this is a shocking failure to fact check primary sources. It’s like quoting Nigel Lawson as a climate change expert.

    Or more likely they are just rabbits in the right-wing headlights and do not think to question something that had has an imprint of official Judaism. The BBC is heavily biased towards establishment figures as part of its DNA as a state broadcaster.

    And can we discount deliberate policy to use false data and testimony? After the Panorama clearly we cannot.

    Never does the BBC’s audience hear answers to questions such as: What is antisemitism? Are people arguing in good faith? Is there more to this than is being told by people allowed an unlimited platform such as Dame Hodge and Louise Ellman?

  • Leah Levane says:

    The interview with Louise Ellman was similarly robust!!!!! Really – did they watch the programme? I know some complainants counted the interruptions, I seem to recall it was 10 to 1….and not only the number but the aggressive nature. I sent my complaint in yesterday and have not yet had this reply…mind you I told them that I am Co Chair of JVL so perhaps I will get a different reply or none at all????

  • goldbach says:

    We should not be surprised at Kirsty Wark’s performance. By all means exhaust the complaints and appeals procedure but don’t hold your breath. There are some excellent journalists in the lower echelons of the BBC but the senior staff are, mostly, rank. Consequently, the BBC is to journalism what I am to grand opera.

  • Bronwen Davies says:

    I’ve taken the time and trouble to persist in a complaint to the BBC. It feels like a lot of work for no very obvious gain, but I believe that (1) every action counts and (2) we often never know which of our actions has had an impact – that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been an impact, though.

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    It was, like ex-active anti-fascist Louise Ellman, a disgrace – solidarity with Jenny! You were a credit to us all – but it was bang-on par for the course with these right-wing defenders of the status quo.

    They followed the same ignorant, arrogant and rude path with the NUM’s leaders and striking miners during the Miners’ Strike, with John Rees and Salma Yacoub during the anti-Iraq War campaign, with the late Bob Crow and continue to do so with every left-wing person that gets within breathing distance.

    If they could not do that – Newsnight was, strangely, a mammoth flop with nazi boss Nick Griffin, by the way – they wouldn’t be working for the mainstream media.

  • Stephen Latham says:

    “We found this helpful document only through a google search”

    The BBC Complaint system is well known to seasoned Corbyn supporting Labour members; not fit for purpose! To give an example of a complaint from me:

    David Baddiel referred to a YouGov poll on TV. He said it revealed that “29% of people who voted for Corbyn in the Labour Party think the world is controlled by a secret global elite, and that global elite are Jews”.

    Indeed, the YouGov poll Baddiel was referencing found that 28% of the sample who voted for Corbyn in the Labour Party chose ‘the world is controlled by a secret elite’ in the poll. Yet there was no mention of Jews at all in the poll question.

    The BBC Complaints team replied with

    ” he [Baddiel] took a brief pause and delivered the last part with a hint of a smile, which would suggest some sardonicism in what he was saying. ”

    The comment was taken by the hosts and audience without any humour at all. In fact I know people who subsequently really did take it seriously.

    That’s what we are up against.

  • Allan Howard says:

    I’m not implying for one moment that people SHOULDN’T complain, but look what happened when thousands complained about the Panorama program. Absolutely nothing, and they were of course never-EVER going to acknowlege that it was totally fraudulent and biased and one-sided.

  • Prof Ellie Palmer says:

    I first became aware of this arrogant patronising bullying tendency by female BBC personnel interviewing hardworking ordinary polite Scots women – educators and civil society activists – during the Scottish referendum. Kirsty Wark who has very little else to commend her has perfected the game. I am done with engaging with the BBC complaints process – its soul destroying.

  • Simon Danby says:

    “…she holds a minority view…”
    How on earth do the BBC know that?
    I’ll follow up as you suggest.

  • In the many complaints I have made over the years I have never had a complaint even partially upheld at the initial stage.

    At the ECU level there is a greater chance of some admission of fault but not much.

    As I told them when I made a very long and detailed complaint about John Wares Panorama programme, the main function of the BBC Complaints Service is not to investigate complaints but to protect the BBC and its staff.

    Given the refusal of Ofcom to investigate Panorama it is quite clear that the BBC sees as its mission the undermining of any narrative to the Labour Antisemitism narrative.

    Suffice to say the treatment of Jenny by Kirsty Wark was shocking.

  • John Burton says:

    I’ve just watched the Newsnight interview with Jenny Manson. It was certainly unfair and clumsy, and it displayed the normal prejudice against JVL and those with similar views that we’ve come to expect from The BBC. However, Jenny, against all odds, managed to make several excellent points and any fair minded viewer may have reflected on the persecution of Jeremy Corbyn and what the truth of this anti-semitism scare really is. Louise Ellman was given a comparatively easy ride to the extent that Kirsty Wark even apologised to her at one point for interrupting!

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    The first big problem with the BBC Complaints system is that the IT is not user friendly and is exhausting to use. The second is knowing that you are likely to be brushed off, and still having the energy to keep going. However, I think it should be used as a matter of principle.

    The standard answer approach is not new – and would not be unreasonable where there are large numbers of complaints on the same issue, if the quality was better. When I complained once before, I was sent answers at both stage 1a and 1b where the answers may have been relevant to other complainants, but weren’t to me – which point I made at each subsequent stage.

    The key thing to remember is not to give them a political lecture, but to be very specific about imbalances. I know one person counted the number of times Kirsty Wark interrupted Jenny Manson – its worth everyone doing that, and comparing the numbers of interruptions of Louise Ellman. Also, worth thinking about the words and tone Wark used – but the key thing is to list all the specific biases very clearly. With Iplayer its possible to make yourself utterly miserable replaying the damn thing over and over, so you have squeezed every last ounce of bias out of it!!

  • Me Again says:

    Fortunately, I missed Newsnight, but was appalled by ‘Kuensberg’ on Ten O’clock ‘News’, her face contorted with bile, her mouth with loathing, uttering complete rubbish. I turned off and cancelled the licence fee.

  • Simon Anderson says:

    I received this dismissive reply. I have already gone back and told them I am not satisfied and amplified my original complaint.

  • MB says:

    I wonder if anyone saw the outrageous off-the-cuff comments made by Laura Kuenssberg on BBC1 News last night, 18 November, at around 10:15pm, in which she was standing outside Parliament in the dark. I wrote a furious email to the BBC Comments address at midnight. With that, you get an automatic reply saying that if you reply with your phone number, you may be phoned to discuss whether you want your response to be read out on the programme (possibly shortened) by someone at the BBC. I didn’t write my comments with that in mind, so I replied that I did not want that, but wanted Laura Kuenssberg to see what I had said. She gave a completely inaccurate summary of the EHRC Report last night that implied it said anti-semitism was rife in the Party and implied that only a few loonies in the TU movement and in the Party who still worship Jeremy (all my words, not hers, but you get the intention) were still challenging that. After watching it, I have to say that I think we are dealing with an impenetrable barrage of “false news” that is so overwhelming that it’s not clear how we can react in such a way that we are heard. However, two things to consider: 1. We might reckon that Keir Starmer has in fact started to get the same barrage of criticism as Jeremy Corbyn did, from the rightwing, because he is being an effective opposition leader on some issues, even if not on ours. His first reactions have been to hit out at e.g. Rebecca Long-Bailey and Jeremy Corbyn, but maybe he will rethink this as it becomes clear that no matter what he does or says, the accusations of antisemitism have not stopped.
    2. I urge JVL and all the authors whose excellent articles and statements you have published over recent weeks to start sending those that are as yet unpublished to magazines and media to publish — outside the “fold”, to more mainstream media — because I think the vast majority of left-leaning, thinking people in this country have no idea that views like these even exist, let alone that they have value and present facts and truths. We are talking to ourselves too much. Too much stays inside the cocoon. There is a tsunami of false news to push back on. Social media should be used to share these as widely as possible. This needs a campaign. Perhaps others don’t agree, but I certainly find this a major problem in the circles I am in. We are not being “heard” let alone listened to.

    • Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi says:

      Be assured we devote frustrating amounts of energy to pressing mainstream media to take note of the volume of material we put on our website. Barely a nibble of interest to date. But we will persist!

  • A Supporter says:

    At 21. 57 hrs this evening, 39,202 supporters had signed the petition to reinstate Jeremy and restore him the whip.

  • Jim McNeill says:

    Thanks for a terrific overview.

  • Frank Land says:

    Just to note that on the following day Laura K belittled JVL and supporters of Corbyn using the word ‘tribe’ sd a form of derision and added the word ‘noisy’. At know time on either day did they examine the relevance of the actions and transgressions of the State of Israel in shaping the definition of anti-semitism of the anti Corbyn gang. (There I am myself using language in a non-neutral manner.

  • Tim Towers says:

    I complained and received the generic response. When I went back to the interview I counted 12 interruptions to Jenny Manson and 2 to Louise Ellman. Also, the assumption that the CAAS and the BOD were completely uncontroversial authorities. An appalling interview and I think I will challenge the utterly inadequate response I received.

  • Tony R. says:

    You should sue them for defamation.

    They alleged that you’re a group within the party, which is a lie.

    Go for it!

  • Simon Anderson says:

    I received this dismissive reply. I have already followed it up. What a disgrace.

  • Richard Desjardins says:

    Good work

  • rc says:

    While the value of an opinion does not depend upon how many people share it, JLM is by its own constitution debarred from the possibility of representing all Jews in the LP. JVL is not so debarred. Need we repeat again that by virtue (?) of JLM being the only permitted ‘Jewish’. (Gordon Brown…?) affiliate, the LP is institutional AS racist.
    Plenty more to come from those who were not watching Endeavour until 2300 hrs and so missed what I understand was a good performance by Jenny Manson.
    I wonder if Wark put to the audience or Ellman the latter’s professed support for habitual Israeli abuse (sc the murder) of Palestinian children, in that rather lively exchange in th eHoC with Sarah Champion.

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    Eh? “No comments”?

    Yes, there have been. I sent a comment earlier this evening!

  • Margaret West says:

    If there are a lot of complaints they often publish
    the fact ..

    Unless there is an embargo on it ..

  • Sam Brown says:

    By my count Jenny Manson was cut across 13 times while Louise Ellman was cut across only 3 times (not to mention the tone and content of Wark’s interruptions). It is therefore factually inaccurate for the BBC to claim that the interviews were ‘similarly robust’.
    A child could see that the nature of the interviews were completely different and that the opposing views were not dealt with fairly and without bias.

  • I complained at the time about the BBC’s false report about a left labour member chucking a brick through Angela Eagle’s constituency window. Their excuse for the provable lies was that’s what everyone was saying. Further appeals were rejected.

  • Ann Miller says:

    JVL is doing great work but I agree with other contributors that the smokescreen of lies and distortions has become impenetrable. And it means that we are spending energy challenging the lies (I could probably do Lies About Corbyn as my Mastermind subject) and questions of policy, including Starmer’s rightward lurch, get pushed out of the frame. I don’t have a solution and I admire JVL for keeping on keeping on.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    I made a complaint to BBC about the ‘rudeness’ & unprofessional attitude of Kirsty Wark who displayed her ignorance & contempt for standards of decency & impartiality. This is a manifestation of the BBC in action to ridicule & marginalise anyone who may challenge the ideologies of their paymasters.

  • Tim says:

    Karen, I mean Kirsty, Wark is possibly the worst offender among tv newsfolk for interrupting interviewees, and it comes across loud and clear that this is because she believes that what she wants to say is FAR more important than anything the interviewee might have to say.

    It’s not only rude but breath-takingly narcissistic. C4 news is just as bad.

  • Margaret West says:

    Watched “Good Morning Britain” this morning where the press reviewers included Jackie Smith and Ian Dale. The review included a discussion about Jeremy Corbyn and included
    (1) Smith’s anger that Corbyns legal case was conducted with Labour Party Funds.
    (2) Quoted responses to Dale’s radio program – expressing disappointment with Starmer at “not getting rid of Corbyn”.

    Not sure about the first – if it is true? As for the second – what has been the response to JVL supporters phoning the Ian Dale radio program? Have they been heard or ever featured on the program?

    You are correct in stating that Starmer can never placate Margaret Hodge and I do not understand why he has placed himself so firmly with the JLM? Apart from anything else – it would be to his own advantage to have Jewish Labour supporters and help push JVLs post of view to the fore … As an expert in Human Rights he should surely realise the denial of them in the stifling of these opinions.

    More important he should surely , as Party Leader, represent ALL Party members. JVL members and supporters contributed to the door knocking and leaflet stuffing through the summer and autumn of 2019. Even with the little I contributed – that period of time is characterised by wet hedges and muddy footpaths ..!

    Of course the irony here is that the Tories do not have the Disciplinary processes associated with Labour so, in that sense, the Commission would have nothing to investigate ..

  • Hilary De Santos says:

    The only balance in the interviews was that they were given about 5 minutes each. Jenny was interrupted about 11 times mid sentence. Louise was not so much interrupted as asked further enabling questions! When Kirsty Wark referred to ‘Jenny Manson ‘and her ilk’ I despaired! There might well be a cause for complaint about the lumping together of Jews who hold a different point of view from the BOD and CAAS, as antisemitic stereotyping!

  • George Hardy says:

    My complaint was verbal via the 03700 100222. You are told there will be no response.
    It is obvious there was a large number of complaints.
    Although their response was inadequate, any examination of the interview would have shown a different attitude toward the two interviewees.

  • Gordon McKinley says:

    This is a video of the Newsnight interview

    I was fuming, yet unsurprised.

  • DAVID JONES says:

    I complained to the BBC way back over a “Today” interview on Radio 4. My compliant was that the interviewer (M Hussain) had got the facts wrong when she said that Jackie Walker & Tony Greenstein had been expelled for been found guilty of AS by the Labour Party.
    I got the following response after 2 or 3 attempts to fob me off:
    “…nor did Mishal Husain say Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker had been expelled from the Labour Party on a finding of antisemitism. She said they had been excluded over antisemitism which is an important difference. The Labour Party has not made public the precise reasons for their exclusion, though both have publicly acknowledged that antisemitism was a feature of the disciplinary cases against them (Tony Greenstein in a blog and Jackie Walker in her statement published last year).”
    I only bother getting my news now from this website, and others such as this and the Morning Star. I don’t bother with BBC, The Guardian or any other establishment supporting MSM.
    Saves in the license fee as well.

  • RC says:

    Describing the effusions of the CAA is grotesque. The BBC should be leaned on as heavily possible to investigate their mala (opp of bona) fides. Their status in front of the Charities Commission should be mentioned as frequently as possible. Good luck .

  • Susan Hocking says:

    I also received an inadequate response, so I am taking it further.

  • Alan Stein says:

    Constantly interrupting and did not let her have the time to answer the questions.

    Deriblatly hectoring the person and appeared to be not really interested in the answer to the questions, just going through the motions

  • Paul Wilkinson says:

    Thanks JVL. BBC’s response to my complaint was as above. Will pursue as suggested.

  • Judy Steele says:

    Jeremy Corbyn has been so inaccurately vilified on so many occasions. And now JVL. Surely there must be some grounds for libel actions? Or has the media been too clever in its phraseology…..

  • Edward Hill says:

    Another way to interpret this interview is as a battle between two agendas. Newsnight’s commitment to ‘balance’ necessitated input from a Corbyn supporter, and (presumably because no MP or senior party figure was wiiling) Jenny Manson was given this opportunity – and used it to take discussion beyond the BBC’s ‘Overton window’, which on the issue of Labour antisemitism may be likened to the eye of a needle. Her answers took a ‘THIS is what I want to say’ approach, enabling her to make points about Jewish communities, the size of the problem, JVL’s training, the unfair!y accused, and justice. Kirsty Wark’s job involves wrestling back control to the clipboard; had she been dealing with an evasive politician, her interruptions would have been welcomed. Jenny still got through the message: “I want the media…to look a bit more widely about what’s going on.”
    Of course Louise Ellman, with the status of victim/martyr in the official account, needed a gentler treatment that allowed her to follow the “Labour’s ‘shameful antisemitism’ line.
    My concern is that a high volume of complaints may deter the Newsnight production team from ever again inviting Jenny or JVL on to the programme.

  • Doug says:

    Please please please, change the language, YOU must frame the story
    Every encounter with MSM and toilet papers should open with
    ‘Vexatious claims of anti semitism are hate crimes and will be prosecuted’
    Then move onto
    ‘Jeremy Corbyn does not have an anti semitic bone in his body ‘
    Keep going with
    ‘You never speak to the Jewish Community who support JC and Labour
    You have to turn the tide and get the debate back on an even keel, you just need that ‘Emperors new suit’ moment
    The single reason propaganda works is repetition, brain washing
    Your on the side of the angels, so what is needed desperately now is clarification and education
    So this distortion of the truth never happens again

  • Mark Francis says:

    Margaret Hodge’s daughter, Lizzie Watson, is News editor at the BBC.

    Just sayin’

  • Rosemary Brocklehurst says:

    Wark’s hectoring really did not work for those who watched and really she and Ellmann only convinced those who already have a warped CAA mindset. So no shifting of views from the audience I suspect. I would now only engage by sending in an equally articulate hard woman to be as rude as Walk , and also you can also walk out of the studio having thrown water over Walk, Basically all these journos and rightwingers talk to each other and reinforce each other. They have not a clue and no rigour. But these instances must be logged and remembered. We need a dossier. It will be very long. Apologies from the BBC as with IPSO, are slow in coming (months). When they do come, unless they are publicised well, they are not worth it. One example is Allegra Stratton, who in the revolving door that exists between the BBC and Tory Government, now works for Johnson. You may recall that she was a Newsnight reporter and producer who walked into a job with Rishi Sunak, and is now Johnson’s TV Comms Director (Lee Cain resigned over it). Stratton is married to the Political Editor of the Spectator. In 2012, she and the BBC refused to apologise for entrapment and humiliation of a young single mother for claiming benefits. It transpired that the young woman worked for Tower Hamlets and earned a wage but not enough to manage. She was able to claim family tax credits to help her to raise her daughter. The overpaid Stratton who would know nothing about living hand to mouth, had refused several potential interviewees on the grounds that they did not fit her ‘story’ (which was clearly a preconceived trap). Only after a furore raised by the outgoing Chair of the Royal Television Society, and a petition, was their an on air apology- but many many moths later. That tells you all you need to know about what has happened to the BBC in the 21st century. Apart from a few independent-made documentaries screened by the BBC, and drama, the BBC is at its nadir as a credible news and current affairs broadcaster. It was the same when Thatcher was around. Servile, uncritical and ill informed. And always when the charter or the licence fee is under threat. The Cons have and are threatening the BBC. What are you supposed to say when Andrew Marr refers to Pritti Patel’s ‘alleged bullying’ when the independent Civil Service investigation found it to be true?

  • OldTrot says:

    Interesting slip in the BBC reply. Who are “The Campaign for Anstisemitism”?

  • James Dickins says:

    “Prof Ellie Palmer. 19th November 2020 at 21:16.
    I first became aware of this arrogant patronising bullying tendency by female BBC personnel interviewing hardworking ordinary polite Scots women – educators and civil society activists – during the Scottish referendum. Kirsty Wark who has very little else to commend her has perfected the game. I am done with engaging with the BBC complaints process – its soul destroying.”


    My advice is: keep complaining; going up the stages as JVL outlines. We know that the BBC lies and distorts (let’s not beat about the Bush [House]), and that its complaints procedure is a joke, designed to protect the BBC rather than investigate complaints.

    However, when people complain in large numbers, the BBC knows that they know that the BBC lies and distorts, and that its complaints procedure is a joke. This is already a small victory for the complainants, and also shifts those within the BBC who are not, ultimately, prepared to put up with this to ultimately do something.

    An example is Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East correspondent, who know speaks up regularly on the Corporation’s bias:

    Another likely ‘convert’ is Orla Guerrin – if she can finally get her courage up to abandon her lucrative BBC career and speak out about the assaults she has been subject to by the Israel lobby:

  • H Lund says:

    It seems Antisemitic to me to challenge a Jewish person on a honestly held statement of what they believe to be factually accurate on the basis that the challenger believes they are not the interpretation of the evidence being Jewish should lead them to make.

    Is Kirsty Wark saying they are “the wrong type of Jew”?

    She certainly seems to be challenging their opinion on the basis of their race and not the validity of the facts that it is based on.


    I have not watched Newsnight since the last general election. I suffered the consistent humiliation of watching “interviews” which forefronted false allegations of racism and backgrounded Labour’s alternative for government, until the last straw which was broadcasting an interview with a member of the Royal Family on explosive charges on the weekend which had already been scheduled for the launch of the Labour Manifesto. Even the heir to the throne complained. The Newsnight team are a biased crew who cannot be defended.

  • DJ says:

    The BBC’s response to attacks from the right to its very existence is not to “rock the boat”. The Tories aren’t very keen on investigative journalism and any meaningful form of scrutiny of facts. It’s hardly surprising that it’s presenters give JVL and the left short thrift. Getting redress for the shocking treatment of Jenny Mason is like “flogging a dead horse”.

  • Jillian Friedmann says:

    I too was disgusted with the Newsnight interview and shocked. My Muslim councillor said she is concerned that media talk of Muslims as a homogeneous community.

  • The “interview” was exactly what one might expect from these apologists for the right wing narrative. It is one of the reasons I do not have a TV.
    After watching the disgusting Fiona Bruce “interview” with Diane Abbot I formulated a method to deal with those who insist on shouting us down.
    First of all one must make this clear to the interviewer. Say that on the next interruption you will immediately stop talking. That you will make NO attempt to take any notice of what is being said. You will make NO attempt to consider or respond to what is being said and that you will continue to say exactly what it was you were saying before you were interrupted!
    I have used this method in informal discussions and it is effective, non confrontational and ultimately can not be argued with.
    It is not egotistical of me (although I have been described as this) to recommend this method to all of us who face the predictable hostility of the notorious establishment propaganda machine!

  • Margaret West says:

    Hello – a follow-up on a link to an interview with Tim Llewellyn, recommended by
    James Dickins (23rd November 2020 at 14:04).

    I could not get the link to work however a search revealed:
    so many thanks for this background information.

    Meanwhile – I see that the complaints to the BBC about the Newsnight program have been rejected ..


    I am not Jewish or a supporter of Corbyn due to his stance on Brexit. But media reporting on Antisemitism in the Labour Party has certainly not been impartial. Having received the standard response from the BBC, which is in itself politically bias, I have escalated my complaint regarding the treatment of Jenny Manson to the next level. Still waiting a response.

  • jon stigwood says:

    Further to my previous comment, this the response I got from my escalated complaint (just outrageous):

    Dear Mr Stigwood  

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us again. We are sorry to learn that you were not satisfied with our earlier response.

    Further to our previous response, we consider Kirsty Wark’s approach during this interview was fair and professional. Sometimes it is necessary to interrupt our guests, for instance if our presenters don’t feel that a question has been answered or if a guest is trying to make points which aren’t relevant to the issue at hand. Regular viewers of Newsnight expect robust and challenging interviews. We are happy that the interview with Jenny Manson was in keeping with this tone, but we appreciate that you feel otherwise.

    We consider we’ve responded in as much detail as we can at this first stage of the complaints process, and regret we cannot investigate new points raised about it.

    For these reasons I’m afraid we cannot correspond with you further at this first stage of the complaints process. If however you are still dissatisfied, you can contact the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU). The ECU is stage 2 of the BBC’s complaints process.

    Details of the BBC complaints process are available at where you can read the BBC’s full complaints framework. You should contact the ECU within 20 working days of receiving this reply. You will need to explain why you believe there may have been a potential breach of standards or other significant issue for it to investigate.

    If you wish to contact the ECU, we have provided a unique URL link for you in this email. This will open up further information about how to submit your complaint. The link will then not work after you have submitted your complaint. You will be asked for the case reference number we have provided in this reply.

    This is your link to contact the ECU if you wish: Click Here

    Kind regards

    BBC Complaints Team

    NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address.

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