BBC advisers say it is pro-Labour

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The Independent Online
The BBC confirmed last night that two of its own advisers have accused the corporation of showing bias towards the Labour Party during interviews.

They said the Corporation allowed leading Labour politicians and advisers to have an easy ride on flagship programmes.

Lord Skidelsky, a former SDP peer who now supports the left of the Conservative Party and Green Party activist Jean Lambert, gave their views in a report to the BBC following an open forum for the corporation's journalists.

The two found that Labour politicians and advisers were let off the hook by interviewers, who failed to press them on important points of policy. The independent observers say Peter Mandelson, political adviser to Labour leader Tony Blair, should have been more closely questioned about his view that there should be "super ministries" to oversee Whitehall.

The BBC stressed that the minutes are not policy documents but confirmed they are passed to the director-general. A BBC spokesman confirmed that Lord Sidelsky and Ms Lambert had expressed these views and said they were part of an ongoing exercise. "We wanted views that were independent and challenging. What they said is what they feel. This was one of a number of seminars. We will be getting other views from other people and until we have considered them all it would be wrong to comment about them," he added.