Nadine Dorries takes on BBC over coverage of anti-Semitic attack

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries takes on the BBC over its coverage of an anti-Semitic attack targeting teenagers on a bus

  • Nadine Dorries has entered row over BBC coverage of anti-Semitic attack on bus
  • Culture Secretary has asked director-general Tim Davie how he intends to ‘resolve the issue in a suitably timely manner’
  • Dorries wrote to Mr Davie amid continuing controversy over the story coverage

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has entered the row over the BBC’s coverage of an anti-Semitic attack targeting teenagers on a bus.

The minister has asked the corporation’s director-general Tim Davie how he intends to ‘resolve the issue in a suitably timely manner’.

Miss Dorries wrote to Mr Davie amid continuing controversy about the way the BBC has covered the story.

In a report about the late November incident in London’s Oxford Street, the corporation carried the claim that racial slurs about Muslims could be heard inside the vehicle when the attack occurred.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured) has entered the row over the BBC’s coverage of an anti-Semitic attack targeting teenagers on a bus

It later amended the online article to say that ‘a slur about Muslims’ could be heard from within the bus.

But the corporation has been accused of making a ‘colossal error’ in its reporting, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews commissioning research which it said proved the slur was not used.

Last night the BBC said Mr Davie had ‘instructed’ that the process involving these complaints was ‘accelerated’ to its editorially independent Executive Complaints Unit.

In her letter to Mr Davie, Miss Dorries is understood to have said she would ‘like to understand the actions the BBC has taken so far’ in response to concerns raised by the Board of Deputies and how it intended to ‘resolve the issue in a suitably timely manner’.

She added: ‘You will know my concerns about the speed of the process which I asked officials to communicate to the BBC.’

Miss Dorries pointed out that the Board of Deputies continued to be ‘dissatisfied’ with the BBC’s coverage of the incident.

She added that it was ‘crucial’ that the BBC can be ‘properly held to account’ for fulfilling its mission and public purposes, which included a ‘fair and effective complaints process’.

Earlier this week there was controversy over claims the BBC had asked that the victims of the attack provide their identities before it dealt with their complaints about the story.

The minister has asked the corporation’s director-general Tim Davie (pictured) how he intends to ‘resolve the issue in a suitably timely manner’

A Jewish broadcaster and Rabbi this week also said he would no longer appear on the BBC in protest at its reporting of the anti-Semitic attack.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘Anti-Semitism is abhorrent. We strive to serve the Jewish community, and all communities, fairly. As we have stated previously, our story was a factual report that overwhelmingly focused on the individuals the police want to identify: those who directed abuse at the bus.’

The spokesman added: ‘We know that there are some strong views about this report. We take complaints very seriously and they are being taken through our complaints process.

‘Tim Davie has instructed that this process is accelerated to the Executive Complaints Unit which is editorially independent from news and will ensure complaints are fully responded to as swiftly as possible.’

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