Thursday 28 March 2019

Another legal disaster for the BBC (and long-suffering licence fee payers), thanks to libellous BBC reporting

Corrections and Clarifications

Mr Speaker might well advise the BBC's Paul Wood to take a soothing medicament, or a sedative, or to take up yoga, or to practise zen, restraint and patience, or to become Buddha-like after the awful week he's had.  

Little did I suspect, after name-checking him on Monday as "the BBC reporter most intimately associated with the Trump-Russia conspiracy theories", that the 'bad news' for him from Robert Mueller's report (seemingly debunking much of his journalistic work over the last couple of years or so) would be followed so swiftly by this second heavy hammer blow:

The BBC's report doesn't name the BBC reporter in question but The Graudian's report does. And, yes, it was Paul Wood. 

[Bold lettering required!]

His BBC News website/BBC News at Ten reports of 23 May 2018 (claiming that the Ukrainian president bribed Donald Trump's lawyer for access to the US president) aroused the wrath of the Ukrainian leader.

Mr. Poroshenko then sued the BBC for libel in the British courts and won.

Paul has, thus, landed the BBC - and, thus, BBC licence payers - with the bill for the Ukrainian president's damages and legal costs.

Oh dear, what a falling-off! In his days of reporting from the Middle East Paul Wood struck me as being one of the BBC's best reporters. And now it's come to this.

A spot of serious soul-searching is obviously needed from the BBC's Paul Wood.

And a spot of serious soul-searching is surely also needed from the BBC. Did they encourage Paul here? Could it be a consequence of institutional anti-Trump bias at the BBC?

Also, such flagrant lapses seem to becoming significantly more common at the BBC, so the Corporation needs to stop being so insufferably complacent and get a grip. 


  1. Note that the BBC had already lost on Feb 7th, with no right of appeal
    at the preliminary hearing
    so the outcome of the actual trial was just a formality.
    Strange it wasn't more widely reported.

  2. The BBC webpage have deleted the May 2018 online story
    now gives a 404 ..I grabbed the Google cached text
    My rule is that the news record should never be deleted, but rather correction notes should be put at the top of the page.

  3. Paul Wood is a fascinating case and, I believe, some kind of government agent embedded in the BBC. I'm not sure for which government. I've written about it here and linked your excellent blog post in mine:


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