BBC forced to issue apology to Reform UK after branding party 'far right'

BBC forced to issue apology to Reform UK after branding party 'far right'

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Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 19/03/2024

- 10:15

Updated: 19/03/2024

- 11:08

The broadcaster removed the wording and took 'full responsibility' for the 'error'

The BBC has been forced to issue an apology to Reform UK after the broadcaster labelled the populist party "far-right".

An article uploaded to the BBC's website made the disparaging comment just days after ex-Tory MP Lee Anderson announced his defection.

The BBC issued its apology after removing the sentence from its article as it fell short of its "editorial standards".

In its apology, the BBC said: "In an article about the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference we wrongly described the political party Reform UK as far-right when referring to polling.

The BBC has apologised to Reform UK for labelling the populist party 'far right'

The BBC has apologised to Reform UK for labelling the populist party 'far right'


"This sentence was subsequently removed from the article as it fell short of our usual editorial standards.

"While the original wording was based on news agency copy, we take full responsibility and apologise for the error."

Reform UK leader Richard Tice labelled the remarks as "defamatory and libellous", adding lawyers were in touch with the broadcaster.

He added: “The BBC has apologised for the news website referring to Reform UK as 'far right’ following an intervention from my lawyers.

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage has also received an apology from the BBC recently


“My lawyers are also in touch with other news organisations who repeated the BBC line.

“To be clear, I view this as defamatory and libellous.”

Concerns about the BBC's reporting has returned to the fore in recent months, particularly after its initial coverage of Hamas' October 7 attack against Israel.

The BBC was also forced to issue an apology to Nigel Farage over his Coutts debanking scandal last year.

Farage, who led Ukip and the Brexit Party, was accused of no longer meeting the financial requirements by a source cited by business editor Simon Jack.

Richard Tice ReformRichard Tice speaking for Reform UKPA

Jack and the BBC later apologised, adding: "The information turned out to be incomplete and inaccurate."

However, the broadcaster's original article about Reform UK was referring to polling which showed the populist party outflanking the Liberal Democrats in recent surveys.

A Redfield & Wilton poll conducted on March 17 put Tice's party on 14 per cent, just seven points behind Rishi Sunak's Tories.

The Liberal Democrats were left languishing behind in a distant fourth place on a mere eight per cent, almost four points down on the proportion of votes received in 2019.

A separate survey showed Reform UK making significant inroads in the so-called Red Wall, with voters in the North East putting the populist party level with the Tories on 17 per cent.

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