Harriet Harman offers new Newsnight Duncan Weldon correspondent solidarity in the face of Tory critics
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Tuesday 25 March 2014
Just as BBC Newsnight reporter Duncan Weldon thought he had answered Conservative critics who claimed he might be a Labour Party stooge, Harriet Harman has sent him a public expression of “solidarity”.
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition raised a comradely fist in a message on Twitter as she sympathised with Weldon over his supposedly rough treatment at the hands of the right-wing press.
“Sorry to c Mail attacks on you. Sending u solidarity Hang on in there. Horrid but they’ll give up after a bit. H”, Ms Harman urged.
Mr Weldon, who only recently joined the flagship BBC2 show as Economics Correspondent, may now be bracing himself for fresh bout of media interest in his career prior to joining Newsnight earlier this month.
As a former adviser to Ms Harman who was joining the BBC from a role as senior economist at the Trades Union Congress, Mr Weldon provoked an outcry from Tory MPs who scented evidence of left-wing bias at the broadcaster.
Harriet Harman was also recently the subject of scrutiny from the Daily Mail (Getty)
Andrew Bridgen MP wrote to the BBC’s Head of News James Harding to complain that Weldon “follows in a long line of economics correspondents who have had clear links either to the Labour Party or Left-wing politics.”
But as newspapers began to make inquiries into Weldon’s past, the correspondent countered last week with a bizarre blog posting called “My Teenage Mistakes” in which he talked of his adolescent obsession with Sir Oswald Mosley and a student article he had written for the Oxford University paper Cherwell under the heading “I was a Fascist”.
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