Complaint to the BBC on Rigged Question Time Panels!

Spot the left-winger? Nope, we can’t either!
We write to complain about blatant selection bias for non-politician panellists on Question Time over the past three weeks.

The Question Time programme which ran on 23-9-21 featured three politicians and the following “non-political” guests:

Richard Walker – millionaire business owner (employer)

Kate Andrews – journalist for right of centre Spectator magazine

The Question Time programme which ran on 30-9-21 featured two politicians and the following “non-political” guests:

Karan Bilimoria – millionaire businessman and president of the CBI (which represents employers with huge cumulative wealth)

Ella Whelan – journalist for right of centre Spiked Magazine

Amy Hartreality TV star turned influencer

The Question Time programme which ran on 7-10-21 featured 2 politicians and the following “non-political” guests:

Minette Batters – runs a 300 acre farm and represents the National Farmers Union (which represents employers with huge cumulative wealth)

Nick Ferrari – journalist for right of centre LBC, who was censured by the Broadcasting Standards Commission in 2003 for “active reinforcement of prejudiced views about asylum seekers (that) had exceeded acceptable boundaries for transmission”. He was also investigated by Ofcom in 2015 for stating that the November 2015 Paris attacks were “a Muslim problem” and telling a Muslim caller to “go some place else” if not in favour of UK foreign policy.

Rosie Jones – comedian and actress

The BBC markets Question Time as its “flagship political debate programme”, states that it will “select a panel with a broad range of views, knowledge and experience” and is, of course, bound by the BBC’s impartiality charter.

Please can you explain to us how the selection of non-political guests across not one but three consecutive programmes meet these obligations?

Three journalists appear – all are right of centre

Three business owners/representatives of large employer groups appear – ZERO trade union representatives appear

Moreover, the only two “non-political” guests invited to add some semblance of left-centre representation come from the field of light entertainment.

The voice of wealth and right-wing cultural views are spoken by six individuals whose primary role involves making political and economic arguments (journalists, business owners).

The left are represented by two figures whose primary role is entertainment – a former participant in Celebrity Love Island and a comedian/actress.

In light of the above, we believe these panels badly fail in their obligation to present balanced, democratic debate. We look forward to hearing from the BBC about the steps they will take to address this in future.

If you’d like to support our complaint please use the share buttons below to spread the word on social media. Every bit of pressure on the BBC counts!

We have previously studied selection bias on Question Time – you can read our full report here

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8 thoughts on “Complaint to the BBC on Rigged Question Time Panels!

    1. Dont forget, that with the media, BBC in particular, anyone with even extreme right wing views is viewed as being of the centre. if there is such a thing. Strange too that the participants who are described as being left of centre are entertainers. Could this be an attempt to trivialize their views? When was that last time, (if ever) that there was a rank and file train unionist on the panel?

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  1. We have stopped watching Question Time in favour of Robert Peston on ITV.
    The right-wing bias of the programme is blatant and will come back to bite the BBC when all these lies are finally laid bare once and for all, and dealt with appropriately.
    The only critical and accurate ‘news’ is ironically on ‘The News Quiz’, ‘Have I got News for You’ and ‘Mock the Week’. ‘The Mash Report’ was taken off air and has transferred to another broadcaster . The rest of the BBC news is merely a sop to the tory party-supporting chairman, and the news readers – particularly Huw Edwards for whom I once had a lot of respect – should be ashamed spouting this sanitised drivel. At least the ITV newsreaders and Peston raise an eyebrow when something they read is manifestly ridiculous, and when Robert Peston heard that Truss had been made Foreign Secretary his immediate response was ‘God help us’.
    I never thought I would ever have to say this. My European friends and family are truly appalled at what is happening here right under our noses and which is reported in their news outlets. Boris Johnson is a laughing stock across the whole of Scandinavia and is seen as the third-rate entertainer and ‘journalist’ that he is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The BBC seems to have an objective to confirm the views of the political right wing whilst minimising contributions from the left and stifling debate. There is no other agenda. I do not pay my licence fee to be indoctrinated. I want informed debate and the right for all voices to be heard

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  3. Please allocate proper labels. The “centre right” should definitely be replaced with “right wing”..
    Apart from that, well done!

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  4. ‘armyjay’ is right – becoming aware of the Overton Window concept helps us to analyse what is allowed. As Chomsky says, allow lively debate within a narrow frame.

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