The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has sought to raise doubts as to the efficacy of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage just hours ahead of his live town hall discussion on Brexit with ITV News tonight.
Reporting on documents in the Grassroots Out referendum designation document, Martin Rosenbaum, the Executive Producer of BBC political programmes claimed in a headline: “Farage should be used ‘sparingly’ by Leave campaigners”.
But while Mr. Rosenbaum sought to portray the document as a rebuke to Mr. Farage by his fellow campaigners in Grassroots Out and Leave.EU, he was forced to admit later in the article that the document is indeed Labour Party voter-targeting advice written by a former Labour Party consultant Ian Warren.
Mr. Rosenbaum reported:
UKIP leader Nigel Farage takes part alongside David Cameron in Tuesday’s ITV special debate on the EU, but research from his own supporters questions his helpfulness to their cause.
Mr Farage should only be used “sparingly” when Brexit campaigners target blue-collar workers, because of his potential to alienate voters with “a divisive or reactionary tone on issues like immigration”. That’s according to a report produced for his own allies.
A strategic analysis commissioned by the Leave.EU movement said that campaign themes “should be delivered by someone other than Nigel Farage”. It argues that some voters view Mr Farage negatively, which “hurts the message”, and “the Leave campaign does not have the luxury to allow this to happen”.
But it also says that Mr Farage could be deployed to “keep the pot boiling” and “at times of a specific crisis in migration, for example, to underline the negative effects of immigration on working households”.
But page 189 of the 240-page application makes it clear that the few pages are discussing the UK’s Labour vote, from the eyes of a long-standing, pre-Corbyn Labour campaigner. It stressed that messages apart from immigration should be delivered to the Labour vote by a “neutral” party. The advice, Breitbart London understands, was not considered valid by Leave campaigners.
Nonetheless, the BBC has sought to use the opinion from Mr. Warren to attack Mr. Farage ahead of his back-to-back town hall discussion with Prime Minister David Cameron tonight.
Failing initially to understand the document, Mr. Rosenbaum asked campaigners:
1. Why you submitted this to the Electoral Commission (and allowed them to publish it), when it seems to me it would have pushed them away from designating GO rather towards it?
2. Why you think Mr Farage should have a prominent role in the campaign when your own research seems to suggest otherwise?
The publishers of the report suggest that neither question is valid when considering the fact the document was written by Labour Party campaigners, for Labour Party campaigning. But Mr. Rosenbaum decided to publish his article with its sensational headline and leading four paragraphs anyway.
UPDATE – The BBC has offered the following comment: “It is clear that this article is reporting on research commissioned by Leave.EU and that it relates to blue collar workers as is stated in the second paragraph. A headline can’t contain every detail in a story and in this instance the word sparingly is clearly a quote from the research.”