One of the BBC’s new presenters of the flagship Radio 4 Today programme has used his position this morning to argue that the eurosceptic UK Independence Party is a “far right” party, leading to accusations of more bias coming from within the liberal-left, publicly funded state broadcaster.
UPDATE 10:16am: Price has written to Breitbart London to apologise for his “mistake”. He said: “Hi Raheem. Yep. Fair call. I made a mistake in trying to make a point in who Labour lost voters to when speaking to Yvette Cooper. I was trying to differentiate between UKIP and the Tories and I did it rather clumsily. Apologies!”
Original story follows:
Speaking to Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper this morning, Price argued that Labour were losing ground to the Conservative Party, and to UKIP as illustrated by the last general election. He then proceeded to call UKIP “far right”.
The smear is another in a long line of anti-UKIP propaganda perpetuated by the BBC and its reporters, and was even attacked by Conservative Party bigwigs:
I’m no UKIP fan, but @BBCr4today calling them “far right wing” is outrageous. So arrogant they no longer hide their bien pensant lefty bias.
— Donal Blaney (@Donal_Blaney) August 17, 2015
UKIP leader Nigel Farage tweeted earlier: “Disgraceful that you labelled UKIP as “far right” earlier – inaccurate & lazy slur,” and “Millions of voters who support UKIP are not “far right” but decent, patriotic people who love their country.”
He told Breitbart London exclusively: “Is this the treatment that UKIP can expect from Matthew Price and the Today programme? I certainly hope not. Millions of voters – and licence fee payers let’s not forget – support us because we are unashamedly patriotic party. Frankly, we’ve have had enough of this form of casual abuse from the establishment.”
The incident is the latest in a long line of anti-UKIP activity from within the BBC.
During Britain’s General Election, the BBC was found to have stacked an audience against UKIP, ensuring that two thirds of a live debate audience identified as left wing. The organisation’s follow up coverage of said debate was also drawn into question.
The BBC also aired a documentary called “Meet the Ukippers” dangerously close to the General Election, where they selectively edited, and focused almost solely on one incident involving a former Conservative Party councillor who defected to UKIP in order to make the political party look racist and/or extreme. The documentary is regarded by many in the party as one of the reasons it failed to secure more seats at the election, despite getting 3.8m votes. The documentary focused on the party leader Nigel Farage’s target seat of South Thanet.
Breitbart London has reached out to Mr Price for comment, but no response has yet been received. He has been previously accused of anti-Israel bias.