Priti seeks apology from BBC


Priti slams BBC over its dismissive response to Indian General Election coverage complaint

British Prime Minister David Cameron with Priti Patel MP
British Prime Minister David Cameron with Priti Patel MP

Priti Patel MP, the Prime Minister’s UK Indian Diaspora Champion, is calling on the wider Indian community to continue registering complaints to BBC Director Lord Tony Hall after receiving the BBC’s dismissive and complacent response to their concerns about the recent Newsnight coverage of the recent Indian General Election.

 The BBC’s response – offered by the Newsnight Editor Ian Katz and not Lord Hall himself – maintains that the Newsnight coverage offered viewers a broad and balanced view on the elections. The Editor goes on to reject the suggestion that Newsnight tarnished the image of India, and that Newsnight presented a thorough and balanced account of the issues facing both the country and its leader. Despite the Hindu community’s deep concerns about the coverage, the Editor – and Lord Hall by extension – made no efforts to apologise for any offence caused. The only apology offered was for the delay in responding.

 Priti said, “While the response is extremely disappointing, it is not surprising that the BBC has dismissed the concerns of many within the world’s Hindu community about its recent Newsnight coverage. There is not the slightest hint of an apology to anyone that was offended, and there is no mention that BBC Newsnight will even consider changing the nature of its reporting when it is met with such deep disapproval. The BBC should be ashamed of not only its shoddy journalism, but the way it responds to criticism. This response along with the programme’s coverage of the elections adds to the insulting way in which India and the largest democratic elections in the world have been portrayed.

 “To continue representing the views of those concerns, I have written to the Secretary of State for Culture to ask that he raises the BBC’s smug response directly with Lord Hall, and I urge all those concerned to continue writing directly to Lord Hall to demand better from the BBC.”