BBC’s Labour hopes
THE BBC was last night hit by a fresh bias row after it emerged five former and current staff are in the running to become Labour MPs at the next election.
Conservative vice-chairman Bob Neill said there was “a revolving door” between the Corporation and the party. Ex-Beeb journalists Polly Billington, Clive Lewis, Victoria Groulef and Simon Thomson have all been selected for top target seats in 2015. And Matthew Turmaine, the Corporation’s head of client services and fulfilment, is standing for Labour in Watford.
Some will see it as further evidence of where the bulk of BBC political journalists' sympathies lie.
On the ethics of this, however, it really isn't a problem for the four ex-BBC journalists. They are now free to be as partisan as they like. given that they are no longer bound by the BBC's impartiality guidelines.
What though of Matthew Turmaine? His Twitter feed describes himself as:
Head of Client Services and Fulfilment at BBC Worldwide's Operations dept, Chair of BECTU Branch BBCW, Labour Councillor and PPC for Watford. All views my own.UK · watfordlabour.org.uk
Does his role - which sounds like a fairly senior one - permit him to be a BBC employee and a Labour councillor/PPC?
Matthew Turmaine selected as PPC for WatfordFEBRUARY 25, 2013 3:18 PMMatthew Turmaine was selected by Watford CLP as their PPC at a meeting yesterday (Sunday). Watford is 61st on Labour’s target seat list.Matthew lives in Watford, is a Councillor for Holywell Ward and works for the BBC. Speaking after the selection, Turmaine said:“People in Watford are being let down by a Tory-led Government that is standing by doing nothing to tackle rising prices and making working families pay more while millionaires are getting a tax cut.“People in Watford are being let down by a Liberal Democrat Mayor and a Liberal Democrat Council that is passing on the ideological cuts their MPs vote for in Parliament to local people.”
Of course, Chris Patten, Craig Oliver, Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson [and Jeremy Clarkson, if they're feeling desperate] are bound to get a mention from the BBC's defenders.
A tally of Tory-BBC people and Labour-BBC people might be interesting - if anyone has the time to do it. Would it result in a bar chart with one very small column and one very large column?