BBC hits back at claims it does not call out political lies and disinformation

PUBLISHED: 14:01 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:05 22 November 2019

The BBC have denied claims by a senior journalist that the organisation does not expose lies told by politicians. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The BBC have denied claims by a senior journalist that the organisation does not expose lies told by politicians. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

PA Archive/PA Images

The BBC have denied claims by a senior journalist that the organisation 'does not expose lies' told by politicians.

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Peter Oborne, a former chief political commentator for the Daily Telegraph, said the media - specifically naming the BBC - do not do enough to challenge lies told by Boris Johnson.

Oborne said: "Some of the lies are tiny [...] But many are big. Johnson repeatedly claims that Britain's continued membership of the EU costs an extra £1bn a month. False. He told activists that the Tories were building a new hospital in the marginal seat of Canterbury. False - and shockingly cynical.

He went on to claim: "Senior BBC executives [...] tell me they personally think it's wrong to expose lies told by a British prime minister because it undermines trust in British politics.

"Is that a reason for giving Johnson free reign to make any false claim he wants?"

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Now the BBC have hit back at these accusations, claiming "Peter Oborne is incorrect in suggesting that the BBC thinks it's wrong to expose lies told by politicians".

David Jordan, the director of editorial policy and standards, wrote to the Guardian where Oborne made his claims in a column, stating: "The BBC is committed to calling out lies, disinformation or untruths - no matter who tells them. that is what our journalists do on a daily basis.

"With Reality Check we are doing more than ever at this election.

"What we don't do is label people as liars - that's a judgment for audiences to make about an individual's motives."

Reactions to their claim were mixed, with one Twitter user saying "Without making a judgement, you keep putting the liars on to broadcast their lies". Others simply claimed it was "tosh".

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