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Government criticises BBC for giving Keir Starmer ‘right of reply’ broadcast

Keir Starmer addresses the nation in a televised address - Credit: BBC

The government has criticised the BBC for allowing Keir Starmer a “right of reply” broadcast on prime time television.

The leader of the opposition was allowed to speak to the nation a day after Boris Johnson’s address was broadcast on all of the major television channels.

Under BBC guidelines it is standard for the Labour leader to be given time to respond to the prime minister when he makes a televised address.

Keir Starmer responds to PM’s coronavirus statement

An anonymous government source told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s a strange move for the BBC to allow a political statement as a counterpoint to the prime minister making a public information address during a time of crisis.

“It raises questions for the BBC on why they are allowing Sir Keir Starmer a primetime slot to give a political rebuttal.”

Starmer respond to Johnson’s statement in May, when he announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

It led to complaints from Tory MPs who said the BBC had “big questions to answer on this”.

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