Saturday 20 July 2019

Watertight oversight?

Fresh from his legal victory over the Electoral Commission yesterday, pro-Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes is turning his attention towards the BBC, who didn't report the story on last night's News at Ten or on Newsnight or on this morning's Today programme.

Here's a flavour of what Darren and his supporters are saying:

Darren GrimesWhen biased Electoral Commission whacked me with their maximum fine and referred me to the police, their statement was all over BBC R4's Today and BBC News. Now I’ve won my Appeal against that decision, there’s nothing. They haven’t played my statement once. Should I be surprised?

Marcus Walker:  Did I miss BBC R4's Today's coverage of Darren Grimes's quashing of the Electoral Commission’s judgement against him? When the initial judgement and fine was issued, they led the news with that story, which caused a tidal wave of abuse to wash over him

Henry Newman: Serious issue. If newspapers mess up they must print prominent corrections. Yesterday courts quashed Electoral Commission Darren Grimes decision. This isn't quite the same as newspaper correction, but shouldn't BBC R4's Today give new story same prominence as original, Sarah Sands?

Possibly unwisely, the BBC's Chris Mason chose to chip in a comment:

Chris Mason: Hi Darren, I heard it being reported on The World Tonight last night.

To which came this reply: 

Darren Grimes: My statement?

Chris replied:

Chris Mason: From memory (I was doing the washing up at the time; I wasn’t working) the news bulletin reported what you’d said.

If you were wondering, The World Tonight gave the story a paltry 19 seconds:

The founder of the pro-Brexit campaign group BeLeave has won his appeal against a £20,000 fine imposed by the Electoral Commission. Darren Grimes, who set up the organisation with a focus on younger voters, had been accused of breaching spending rules during the Brexit referendum. He said he was delighted and relieved to be found innocent.

Now, do you think that does justice to Darren's statement?


  1. Rough translation of World Tonight piece: "Guilty as charged but somehow got off."

    Pathetic vindictive bias from the BBC.

  2. "You are blocked from following @ChrisMasonBBC and viewing @ChrisMasonBBC's Tweets. Learn more"

    I find the correlation between the calibre of BBC reporters like Chris and my inability to interact with them on matters of professional accuracy or integrity is quite remarkable.


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