BBC editor banned from European and local elections coverage after 'Ukip are racist and sexist' tweet


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The Independent Online

The channel editor at BBC News will not be allowed to work on the corporation's coverage of the European and local council elections, after she tweeted that Ukip promotes sexist and racist values. 

Posted on Twitter a day before the polls, Lawrence’s message read: “#WhyImVotingUkip – to stand up for white, middle class, middle aged men w sexist/racist views, totally under represented in politics today.”

Lawrence’s tweet appears to have been part of a backlash against #WhyImVotingUkip, which the party encouraged its followers to use to ahead of polling day.

The hashtag was quickly hijacked by hundreds of Ukip’s opponents, who instead posted tweets mocking the party. 

Lawrence, who is an editor on the rolling news channel and was duty editor for the 2010 general election, has subsequently de-activated her Twitter account, and the corporation has launched an investigation into the incident.

Her message comes a week after BBC director of news and current affairs James Harding reminded the corporation’s staff that they are bound by strict impartiality guidelines.

“Jasmine Lawrence was tweeting from a personal account,” a BBC spokesman said.

“She has been reminded of her responsibility to uphold BBC guidelines. She has deactivated her Twitter account and will now be playing no part in the BBC's election coverage in coming days.”