Government's pick for BBC chair claims Question Time didn't feature enough Brexiteers

Fiona Bruce introduces Question Time

Fiona Bruce introduces Question Time - Credit: BBC

The government's choice for the chair of the BBC has claimed that Question Time has been filled with too many Remainers - and not enough Brexiteers.

Despite Nigel Farage racking up 34 appearances on the political programme, and analysis finding a majority of MEPs appearing were pro-Brexit, Richard Sharp has complained the programme has been "unbalanced".

Sharp told the Commons DCMS select committee that although he did not think Brexit coverage from the BBC had been unbalanced, he thought the show had featured more Remainers than Brexiteers before the vote.

Admitting he was a Brexiteer, he explained: "Those people in favour of Remain felt the BBC didn't appropriately discuss the accuracy of the Brexit campaign.

"Brexiteers felt that, and there have been studies done, that the representation of Brexiteers on the news and certain programmes, for example Question Time, wasn't balanced.

"I suffer like anybody, like each one of you, confirmation bias and the question is, 'What is the empirical truth?'

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"And there have been studies and there has been some acknowledgement that some aspects of the Brexit coverage, from time to time, was not balanced.

"But I think both sides have issues with how the BBC delivered its view."

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The government's preferred candidate for the new job of BBC chair revealed he has also donated around £400,000 to the Conservative party in the last 20 years, but had given "substantially more to cancer-fighting organisations".

He insisted his total donation to charities "dwarfed" his political donations. 

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