BBC tells Tories it's 'completely unacceptable' to use its content for political advertising

PUBLISHED: 09:03 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:29 29 November 2019

An edited clip of BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg saying

An edited clip of BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg saying "pointless delay to Brexit" edited by the Tories for Facebook advertising. Photograph: PA/Conservatives.

The BBC has told the Tories to remove online adverts which use edited versions of its content, claiming it was 'completely unacceptable' to 'distort' its output.

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An edited clip of BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg saying An edited clip of BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg saying "pointless delay to Brexit" edited by the Tories for Facebook advertising. Photograph: PA/Conservatives.

One of the adverts the BBC has complained about includes an edited clip of BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg saying "pointless delay to Brexit", followed by newsreader Huw Edwards stating "another Brexit delay".

It also features the caption: "A hung parliament = gridlock. Stop the chaos. Vote Conservative."

In a tweet posted on Thursday, the BBC News press team said: "We're aware of Conservative Party Facebook adverts using edited BBC content.

"This is a completely unacceptable use of BBC content which distorts our output and which could damage perceptions of our impartiality.

"We are asking the Conservatives to remove these adverts."

A BBC News spokesman told the PA news agency that it is yet to receive a response from the Conservatives.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said it was "clear" the footage was "not edited in a manner that misleads or changes the reporting", adding that viewers can "judge for themselves".

"This video uses contemporary news footage to remind voters of the deadlock and delay of the last three years caused by a broken parliament that did everything it could to block Brexit," the spokesman said.

It follows edited clips of Labour candidates Jess Philips and Sir Keir Starmer, as well as a rebadging of its press office as "FactCheckUK" which even the creator of the internet criticised.

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