Published On: Tue, Sep 24th, 2019

BBC condemns Emily Maitlis for ‘sneering and bullying’ towards Rod Liddle on Newsnight | UK | News

The BBC’s internal executive complaints unit concluded that Ms Maitlis acted too “persistent and personal” towards The Sun columnist during the programme aired on July 15, sparking fury from viewers who said she had “failed to be even-handed”. In the BBC’s ruling, it said the host was right to press Mr Liddle on his personal views and that he had an opportunity to defend himself. The complaints department added: “However it was insufficiently clear that this was not Ms Maitlis’s view of Mr Liddle but that of his critics, and the persistent and personal nature of the criticism risked leaving her open to the charge that she had failed to be even-handed between the two guests.”

The department added that she had been “reminded of the need to ensure rigorous questioning of controversial views does not lead to a perceived lack of impartiality”.

Mr Liddle, who is the associate editor of the Spectator appeared on the show to discuss and debate Brexit with Tom Baldwin, director of communications for the People’s Vote campaign.

The segment was investigated after complaints of her attitude towards Mr Liddle, adding her behaviour exemplified the way the Cooporation viewed Leave voters.

Mr Liddle penned an angry piece about the appearance in the Spectator the day after the interview took place.

During the interview Ms Maitlis sparked outrage when she said: “You’re not angry that we haven’t left, you say that the Remain argument was that all Leavers were basically racists and xenophobes…”

She then shockingly asked if Mr Liddle would describe himself “as a racist because many see you that way”.

Ms Maitlis later added that his columns contained “consistent casual racism week after week”.

She said: “All you do is write about suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Tower Hamlets.”

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He savaged the the broadcaster for its “liberal bias” and claimed its out-of-touch bosses saw the Brexit vote as an unexpected “disaster” after failing to read the mood of voters.

Just two days after he retiring from the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Welshman called out what he saw as “poor news management” and “Kremlin”-style orders from those at the top of the corporation where he worked for 32 years.

The 76-year-old recalled how the result of the June 2016 referendum “exposed a fundamental flaw in the culture of the BBC”, with baffled bosses making “no attempt to prevent that this was anything other than a disaster”.

Remembering the morning after the Brexit vote, he said: “Leave had won – and that was not what the BBC had expected. Nor what it wanted.

“No nods and smiles when the big bosses appeared.

“No attempt to pretend that this was anything other than a disaster.”

He claimed the BBC was not willing to listen to voters’ concerns over mass immigration and had no time for their scepticism of Brussels and therefore did not see Brexit coming.

And he claimed he was in no doubt that the BBC is home to “institutional liberal bias” and said throughout his career he felt like an outside in the pack which is largely made up of Left-leaning graduates from private schools.

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