BBC host tells panelist not to make 'any remoaning speeches' on-air

PUBLISHED: 10:09 07 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:39 08 July 2019

Isabel Hilton was told not to make any 'Remoaning speeches'. Photograph: BBC.

Isabel Hilton was told not to make any 'Remoaning speeches'. Photograph: BBC.

Archant

A BBC News presenter has surprised viewers by using the label 'remoaner' while hosting a panel programme that discussed Brexit and the Tory leadership race.

Host Carrie Gracie baffled viewers of the BBC's Dateline programme by saying that because there were no Brexiteers on the programme's panel, they had to avoid 'any remoaning speeches', despite the programme discussing the October 31st deadline.

The intervention came as Scottish journalist Isabel Hilton was trying to explain how the British had behaved over Brexit.

Hilton said: "Speaking from Scotland, I would say we are behaving pretty sensibly.

"There is an England problem, there is definitely an England problem when it comes to Brexit.

"Boris has recognised that the Tory Party is in the grip of a cult and that cults tend toward extremes and he has won them over."

But Gracie intervened, telling her to stop the 'remoaning' speech, due to the lack of balance on the show.

She said: "Hold on. We don't have any firm Brexiteers on this panel today so I won't let you make any remoaning speeches."

Hilton initially laughed it off before looking baffled as the comments sunk in. Viewers watching the programme were not impressed by her choice of words as they turned to Twitter.

Mickoura tweeted: "What the hell did you ask about Tory leadership and Brexit for if you don't want people to answer? Disgraceful journalism from a biased BBC."

Stuart Maddison said: "Yes, highly unfortunate word choice from @BBCCarrie on #Dateline London this morning, ironically in a supposed attempt at balance!

Using a term like "remoaning" when the opposite is just 'firm Brexiteer' is another example of the @BBC misinterpreting what it means to be impartial."

Mark Ryan Travis, however, disagreed with others: "Carrie Gracie is very tongue in cheek though. I think it was humorous rather than malicious."

On the previous week's edition of the programme a panelist said that he had been told off-air by Gracie not to mention Brexit.

John Fisher Burns, a former New York Times correspondent, said on-air: "You did say when we were talking off-air that we couldn't refer to, if not discuss any, at large the issue of Brexit."

But Gracie protested: "I'm not censoring anything. I just want to be clear to the audience I'm not censoring anything."

She added: "I just said I think the audience needs a break from Brexit."

A BBC spokesperson told The New European: "The BBC continues to report Brexit impartially and features a wide range of different perspectives across our news coverage. Our journalists report independently and without fear or favour."

Gracie later tweeted: "On #DatelineLondon Leavers and Remainers all have a voice. To explain: time was almost out on programme, remain argument was heard at length, I attempted lighthearted reminder to focus final mins on leadership race. Sorry if wording caused offence, agree 100% #BBC impartiality matters."

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