‘Question Time isn’t a single-issue programme’ – BBC defends lack of pro-EU MEPs

PUBLISHED: 16:21 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:42 09 October 2018

Nigel Farage appears on BBC Question Time. (Photograph: BBC)

Nigel Farage appears on BBC Question Time. (Photograph: BBC)

Archant

The BBC has defended the political balance of Question Time panels after it was revealed that all MEPs to appear on the show in the past 5 years have been anti-EU.

According to a social media post from JP Cherrington, a majority of the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to appear on the programme have been from UKIP.

Nigel Farage has been the most frequent MEP to appear on the programme, but his appearances were supported by other UKIP MEPs including Paul Nuttall, Steven Woolfe, and Roger Helmer.

MORE: Gove mocked for Dickensian proposal to allow Brits to sift through rubbish

The remaining MEP representation came from Dan Hannan – a Brexiteer MEP and Conservative on the right of the party.

Cherrington claimed that the last pro-EU MEP to appear on the weekly current affairs programme was Labour’s Glenys Kinnock – way back in 2002.

In a series of tweets the BBC has responded to Cherrington to outline how it balances up guests.

It said: “Since 2000 there have been more than 2100 political panellist appearances, guided by the national level of electoral support for their parties. The parties are there because people vote for them in elections – not just Westminster ones. So sometimes parties will be represented by MEPs, MSPs, AMs. It’s not just about how many MPs they have but about broader electoral support.”

MORE: BREX FACTOR: It’s time Leavers sent for the Doctor

The BBC added: “Question Time isn’t a single-issue programme. During the formal referendum period QT ensured a balance between Brexit Remainers & Leavers. Since then the arguments are less binary so we don’t categorise panellists like that but we do aim to reflect a range of views over time.”

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Beader also responded to the thread saying that “the EU isn’t just about Brexit.”

MORE: Gove mocked for Dickensian proposal to allow Brits to sift through rubbish

She said: “MEPs work on legislation impacting everything from the environment, agriculture, science. Perhaps if we had more informed debate about what the EU actually does over last 20 years we wouldn’t be dealing with it via Remain vs Leave.”

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy