Broadcast regulator Ofcom has dismissed every accused levelled at TV channels for their coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s reign as Labour leader.
Mr Corbyn and his supporters have frequently claimed broadcasters like the BBC and Channel 4 are “biased” against his leadership of the party when they are supposed to remain neutral under the terms of the broadcast code.
But figures obtained by PoliticsHome through a Freedom of Information request that Ofcom has dismissed 72 complaints about bias fromt the channels it regulates - not including the BBC which is self-regulating.
It also dismissed a further 67 complaints over the past year which were deemed “out of remit” because they were against the BBC.
The BBC declined to disclose how many complaints it had received about the “bias” of its coverage.
The highest single number of complaints came in September 2015 when Mr Corbyn was first elected leader.
Following this 16 complaints were made about the BBC’s coverage of the “revenge reshuffle” and seven in particular were made about the corporation’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg.
Ms Kuenssberg suffered a stream of online abuse and threats by Mr Corbyn’s supporters and was booed and hissed when asking the leader a question at an event months later.
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
1/11 He called Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’
True. In a speech made to the Stop the War Coalition in 2009, Mr Corbyn called representatives from both groups “friends” after inviting them to Parliament. He later told Channel 4 he wanted both groups, who have factions designated as international terror organisations, to be “part of the debate” for the Middle East peace process. “I use (the word ‘friends’) in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk,” he added. “Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No.”
2/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy’
Partly false. David Cameron used this as a line of attack at the Conservative Party conference but appears to have left out all context from Mr Corbyn’s original remarks. In an 2011 interview on Iranian television, the then-backbencher said the fact the al-Qaeda leader was not put on trial was the tragedy, continuing: “The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
3/11 He is ‘haunted’ by the legacy of his ‘evil’ great-great-grandfather
False. A Daily Express exposé revealed that the Labour leader’s ancestor, James Sargent, was the “despotic” master of a Victorian workhouse. Addressing the report at the Labour conference, Mr Corbyn said he had never heard of him before, adding: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time and having a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.”
4/11 Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion about ‘pigeon bombs’ in Parliament
This one is true. On 21 May 2004, Mr Corbyn raised an early day motion entitled “pigeon bombs”, proposing that the House register being “appalled but barely surprised” that MI5 reportedly proposed to load pigeons with explosives as a weapon. The motion continued: “The House… believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.” It was not carried.
5/11 He rides a Communist bicycle
False. A report in The Times referred to Mr Corbyn, known for his cycling, riding a “Chairman Mao-style bicycle” earlier this year. “Less thorough journalists might have referred to it as just a bicycle, but no, so we have to conclude that whenever we see somebody on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao,” he later joked.
6/11 'Jeremy Corbyn will appoint a special minister for Jews'
False so far. The Sun report in December was allegedly based on a “rumour” passed to the paper by a Daily Express columnist who has written pieces critical of the Labour leader in the past. The minister did not materialise in his shadow cabinet.
7/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn wishes Britain would abolish its Army’
False. Another gem from The Sun took comments made at a Hiroshima remembrance parade in August 2012 where Mr Corbyn supported Costa Rica’s move to abolish it armed forces. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world…abolished the army and took pride in the fact that they don’t have an army,” he added. The caveat that “every politician” must take the step suggests Mr Corbyn does not support UK disarmament just yet.
8/11 Jeremy Corbyn stole sandwiches meant for veterans
False. The Guido Fawkes blog claimed that the Labour leader took sandwiches meant for veterans at at Battle of Britain memorial service in September but a photo later emerged showing him being handed one by Costa volunteers, who later confirmed they were given to all guests.
9/11 He missed the induction into the Queen’s privy council
True. After much speculation about Mr Corbyn’s republican views and willingness to bow to the monarch, his office confirmed that he did not attend the official induction to the privy council because of a prior engagement, but did not rule out joining the body.
10/11 Jeremy Corbyn refuses to sing the national anthem.
Partly true. The Labour leader was filmed standing in silence as God Save the Queen was sung at a Battle of Britain remembrance service but will reportedly sing it in future. Mr Corbyn was elusive on the issue in an interview, saying he would show memorials “respect in the proper way”, but sources said he would sing the anthem at future occasions.
11/11 He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cheese
True. The group lists its purpose as the following: “To increase awareness of issues surrounding the dairy industry and focus on economic issues affecting the dairy industry and producers.”
She had provoked their fury after she arranged for the former shadow foreign minister Stephen Doughty to resign live on air during the BBC’s Daily Politics programme in January.
This is a standard technique employed by journalists but 35,000 people signed a petition to have her sacked for “bias”.
Campaigning website 38 Degrees eventually removed the petition due to the number of misogynist comments it attracted.
Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson rushed to her defence following the booing incident in June after Mr Corbyn was appeared to smirk at the noise before intervening.
He said it was “rude” and “inappropriate” and he felt “embarrassed” on behalf of his party.
“Hissing is not the answer and it undermined Jeremy’s message” he tweeted, “I understand people hold many views on how she does her job but... hissing at her because of those views is wrong.”
Mr Corbyn claimed the BBC was biased against him during a Vice news documentary shown earlier this year saying they were “obsessed” with discrediting him.
He said: “There is not one story on any election anywhere in the UK that the BBC will not spin into a problem for me.
“It is obsessive beyond belief. They are obsessed with trying to damage the leadership of the Labour party.”Reuse content