Tory scolded for divulging 'bias' meeting

Click to follow

Political Correspondent

A planned grilling by Tory MPs over the alleged anti-government bias of John Humphrys, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today, took a farcical turn last night as a Tory MP turned on a party colleague for inviting the press to report on it.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman , a stickler for procedure, caught Mr Humphrys taking questions from lobby journalists after the private meeting.

Rounding on Michael Fabricant, the deputy chairman, for alerting the media to the meeting, she declared: "I am amazed at you Michael. These are private meetings." Turning to Mr Humphrys, she commanded: "May I urge you to depart?"

The meeting of the Tory backbench media committee itself turned out to be less fiercesome than some had predicted, with occasional laughter punctuating MPs' complaints of the programme's alleged bias, inadequate resistance to Labour Party spin-doctoring, interruption during interviews, and what one MP called its "distortion of reality".