Dr Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, has written to BBC Director-General Tony Hall seeking a meeting about the corporation’s “biased” coverage of Brexit.
“I cannot recall a single time in recent times when I have seen good economic news that the BBC did not describe as ‘despite Brexit’,” he blasted in his letter Lord Hall, which was seen by The Telegraph.
Dr Fox said the publicly-funded broadcaster had “wilfully” ignored positive stories about Brexit and favoured interviewing EU loyalists claiming Brexit will be a disaster over speaking to Leave campaigners.
He highlighted, in particular, the BBC’s failure to report the annual foreign direct investment figures published by his department recently, despite their notifying the corporation about the story on the 6th of July.
“These figures are an important indicator of the attractiveness of the UK to foreign investors yet, despite routinely dedicating resources to less significant economic publications and studies, the BBC turned down the opportunity to publish the story or take interviews,” he wrote.
“The figures just so happened to show a record number of projects in the UK from foreign investors.”
— Department for International Trade (@tradegovuk) July 6, 2017
Dr Fox claimed the BBC ignored another positive story on the 17th of July, showing monthly trade exports had risen by 10.8 per cent, choosing to run a negative piece about the widening trade deficit instead.
He wrote: “There was no call to my department to request our viewpoint, and we certainly were not given a chance to reply…
“I understand that the BBC cannot cover every story and I appreciate too that despite its best efforts the corporation cannot always guarantee total impartiality.
“However, I believe that we are now seeing a clear pattern of unbalanced reporting of the UK economy and, when it comes to the work of my department, evidence of the corporation wilfully ignoring positive economic data when we publish it.”
In March, also a letter to Lord Hall, a group of 72 MPs from across the political spectrum claimed the BBC was harming the UK’s reputation by falsely portraying it as a “xenophobic” nation regretting its vote to leave the European Union (EU).
An extensive report has previously found that the BBC’s flagship morning news show was “strongly biased against Brexit” in the critical week when Britain triggered Article 50 and formally began its exit from the EU.
But Today programme presenter and former BBC political editor Nick Robinson has said he believes that, with the EU referendum over, “The duty we broadcasters had to ‘broadly balance’ the views of the two sides is at an end.”