BBC News - please restore political neutrality.

BBC News - please restore political neutrality.

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Jos Bell started this petition to BBC Director General and

PETITION TO THE BBC

Given events over the past 24 hours, it is now time for a petition asking the BBC to please return to objective reporting and restore our publicly funded broadcaster to be once again worthy of our license fee.

Please ensure BBC journalistic values are restored and present the public with a new Pledge of Transparency & Independence in keeping with the BBC Charter.

Note - from the evidence below, Ms Laura Kuenssberg is now self evidently a government spokesperson, far from the objective journalist we all pay for, and should resign from her staff post as BBC Chief Political Correspondent.

We live in dark times, where in the space of 2 months, more people in the UK have lost their lives than civilians during the six years of World War 2. Now, more than ever, we need our BBC to be scrupulous in holding the government to account.

I have launched this petition as someone who has patiently spent more than 10 weeks 'shielding' in solitary  – and likely to be doing so for some time yet. I also chair an organisation of medical frontline workers who have been bravely putting their lives on the line in order to save so many others. 

We now know, that at a time of lockdown, Dominic Cummings and his partner Mary Wakefield took a 250 mile road trip to his parents home in Durham, in direct contravention of the government's stated rules to contain Covid. The Cummings apparently told police that their breaking of parental shielding was to access care for their son.  Covid or not – parents too sick to childcare do not tend to make long distance road trips. The fact that it was also his mother's birthday weekend may have had more relevance.  For blatantly breaking government & SAGE Lockdown rules, which millions have faithfully followed despite the sacrifices, and for which other have already resigned,  the PM's Senior Adviser should clearly vacate his post.       

Next to Ms Laura Kuenssberg - prolific Tweeter of 'Number 10 sources' and Chief Political Correspondent of our publicly funded broadcaster. Her 'No 10 sources' Tweet, dropped just minutes after the story broke, read : @bbclaurak  'Source says his trip was within guidelines as Cummings went to stay with his parents so they could help with childcare while he and his wife were ill – they insist no breach of lockdown'

NB. this was in response to Mirror journalist Pippa Crerar breaking the Cummings Exclusive – it is therefore specifically offered by Kuenssberg as a direct defence of Cummings.  It reveals what has been suspected and suggested from many a prior Tweet –  the habit of fast track live Tweeting texts on behalf of the government, without analysis, and with great potential to influence and mislead.

It is also really important to note that almost every other journalist & pundit, including Julia Hartley-Brewer and Tim Montgomerie immediately called out both Cummings and Kuenssberg for extraordinarily inappropriate behaviour & defence of it.

Now let's add to that, the case of the BBC One Ten O'Clock News omitting this major story from headlines – unlike ITV and Sky who both led with the Cummings trip – one of the most important stories of the Covid crisis, BBC News editors instead relegated it to the level of a sub story, unusually, without Kuenssberg reporting.

At a time when the actions of our government have direct implications for the lives of frontline workers and for safety of the wider population, the BBC needs to serve all of us, including those remaining BBC news staff of integrity, far better than this.

DG Tony Hall, Exec Committee and BBC Board , please take this course of action and honour the BBC Charter  - restore trust and ensure BBC reporters and journalists are truly neutral voices and do not speak for government. 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!