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Labour escalates complaint over BBC's election coverage bias

LABOUR has escalated its ongoing complaint over the BBC’s “slanted and biased” coverage of the general election to the director general.

The party wrote to Tony Hall to raise “serious concerns” over the broadcaster having allowed PM Boris Johnson to “pick and choose” which platform he wants to be interviewed on.

It comes after Mr Johnson refused to be interviewed by former Spectator editor Andrew Neil, even though other leaders, including Jeremy Corbyn, have agreed to do so.

Labour’s campaign joint co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne wrote that Mr Corbyn had agreed to participate “despite our concerns about Andrew Neil’s well-known conservative political leanings” on the “clear understanding” that Mr Johnson had also agreed to under the same terms.

He added: “This clearly broke the agreement the Labour Party made with the BBC in good faith. But despite raising this repeatedly with BBC editorial management, no proposal has been made to redress the imbalance that has been created.”

Mr Gwynne suggests in the letter, which was sent with examples of “repeated” bias, that the Conservatives are being allowed to “play” the BBC, effectively making the broadcaster “complicit in giving the Conservative Party an unfair electoral advantage.”

He also wrote that its election coverage to date has “demonstrated a worrying failure to meet the BBC’s obligations to fairness and impartiality” and demands that this “unfairness is urgently corrected.”

Mr Gwynne added: “We have recorded numerous examples of more negative treatment, harsher scrutiny and slanted editorial comment about Labour’s leadership, policies and record, as compared with those of the Conservative Party, and submitted them to the BBC.”

Labour’s last complaint to BBC News director Fran Unsworth elicited “no substantial response,” Mr Gwynne also said.

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