Ofcom dismisses every complaint of bias against Jeremy Corbyn about UK broadcasters

The regulator received a total of 139 complaints about broadcasters' coverage since the Labour leader took office in 2015

Click to follow

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.

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.”

Comments