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Surprise Report: BBC Spends £2,500 a Week Buying Copies of The Guardian

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The BBC is spending the equivalent of 900 license fees a year buying copies of the left-wing Guardian newspaper, new figures reveal.

The corporation spent £127,643 on 80,679 copies of the Guardian last year, making it the most read newspaper at the BBC.

The Daily Mail reports that the figure is nearly 45 per cent higher than its bill for any other title even though the Guardian only accounts for a small percentage of British newspaper sales. Last year, the paper’s circulation fell 9.5 percent to 174, 941.

By comparison, the Sun, Britain’s best-selling daily newspaper, shifted 1.8 million yet the BBC bought just 66,202 copies, 28 per cent fewer than the Guardian.

A spokesman for the Freedom Association said that the amount the corporation spends on the Guardian was “astonishing”, adding: “This is the equivalent of almost 900 licence fees. It is clear that the Corporation is intent on propping up its friends in the left-wing media.”

Despite the BBC claiming impartiality in its coverage, it frequently faces criticism of left-wing bias. Its case is not helped by its purchasing of Sunday papers either, with the Observerthe Guardian‘s sister publication – the second most purchased, ahead of better-selling right wing rivals. The Sunday Times was the corporation’s most popular, however.

The full list a papers is:

Guardian – 80,679 – £128,223

Daily Telegraph – 75,308 – £102,199

Financial Times – 40,253 – £96,754

Times – 77,238 – £89,530

The Independent – 61,399 – £83,187

Daily Mail – 78,463 – £46,886

Daily Mirror – 60,528 – £33,238

Sun – 63,298 – £27,593

Daily Express – 42,263 – £23,144

Sunday Times – 9,035 – £21,296

Observer – 7,620 – £19,831

Independent On Sunday – 6,079 – £12,618

Mail On Sunday – 7,591 – £10,750

Sunday Telegraph – 7,243 – £13,629

Daily Star – 17,988 – £7,261

Sunday Mirror – 5,732 – £6,202

Sun on Sunday – 5,008 – £3,474

Sunday Express – 4,675 – £6,167

The People – 3,112 – £3,363

Daily Star Sunday – 1,554 – £1,462

Sunday Sport – 104 – £97

A BBC spokesman said: “As an impartial international news broadcaster with three rolling TV news channels, 28 foreign language services, daily paper reviews as well as various radio and TV current affairs programmes our viewers rightly expect our presenters, journalists and expert contributors to be across all the day’s stories in all the UK newspapers.”


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