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BBC defends scant coverage of People's Assembly march

THE BBC was forced yesterday to defend its coverage of the massive People’s Assembly demonstration against austerity in London on Saturday. 

Organisers said around 50,000 people massed outside Broadcasting House as they formed up for the march.

They included unions that collectively represent millions of workers and a vast array of community groups from across Britain. 

People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn said in his speech that the huge turnout gave the BBC “no excuse to ignore us.”

But those who took part were left frustrated by Auntie’s coverage of the event. 

The BBC said clips of the march were shown on the BBC News Channel from 8pm while it took until Sunday afternoon for a 25-second video without commentary to be posted on the BBC’s website. 

ITV had included a report on the march in its Saturday tea-time news bulletin.

Rail union TSSA senior organiser Alan Valentine was one of a number of unsatisfied licence fee payers who registered complaints on social media and through the BBC’s online complaints system. 

“The BBC has a duty to cover stories like this which show the whole mix of political opinions in this country,” Mr Valentine wrote in his complaint. 

Asked to respond by the Star, a BBC spokesperson said: “We chose not to provide extensive coverage of this demonstration in London because of a range of other significant national and international news stories that day.”

The People’s Assembly is considering making an official complaint. 

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