Culture secretary

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries hits out at BBC for covering anti-Semitic bus attack

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries hits out at BBC over its coverage of an anti-Semitic attack targeting teenagers on a bus

  • Nadine Dorries clashed with BBC coverage of anti-Semitic bus attack
  • The Culture Secretary asked chief executive Tim Davie how he intended to ‘resolve the issue in a timely manner’
  • Dorries wrote to Mr Davie amid continued controversy over the story’s coverage










Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has entered the row over BBC coverage of an anti-Semitic attack targeting teenagers on a bus.

The minister asked the company’s chief executive, Tim Davie, how he intended to “resolve the issue in a timely manner”.

Miss Dorries wrote to Mr Davie amid continued controversy over how the BBC covered the story.

In a report on the late November incident on London’s Oxford Street, the company claimed racial slurs against Muslims could be heard inside the vehicle when the attack occurred.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured) entered the debate over BBC coverage of an anti-Semitic attack targeting teenagers on a bus

He then edited the online article to say that an ‘insult about Muslims’ could be heard from inside the bus.

But the company has been accused of making a “colossal error” in its reporting, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews commissioning research which it says proved the insult was not used.

Last night the BBC said Mr Davie had ‘directed’ the process involving these complaints to be ‘fast-tracked’ at its editorially independent Executive Complaints Unit.

In her letter to Mr Davie, Miss Dorries reportedly said she would like to ‘understand what action the BBC has taken so far’ in response to concerns raised by the Board of Deputies and how she intended to ‘resolve the issue in a timely manner”.

She added: “You know my concerns about the speed of the process which I have asked officials to communicate to the BBC.”

Miss Dorries stressed that the Board of Deputies continued to be “dissatisfied” with the BBC’s coverage of the incident.

She added that it was “crucial” that the BBC could be “properly held accountable” for carrying out its mission and public goals, which included a “fair and effective complaints process”.

Earlier this week there was controversy over claims the BBC asked victims of the attack to provide their identities before dealing with their complaints about the story.

The minister asked the company's chief executive, Tim Davie (pictured), how he intended

The minister asked the company’s chief executive, Tim Davie (pictured), how he intended to ‘resolve the issue in a timely manner’

A Jewish broadcaster and rabbi also said this week that he would no longer appear on the BBC in protest at his reporting on the anti-Semitic attack.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Anti-Semitism is abhorrent. We strive to serve the Jewish community, and all communities, fairly. As we said earlier, our story was a factual report that largely focused on the individuals the police wanted to identify: those who directed the abuses against the bus.

The spokesperson added: “We know there are strong opinions about this report. We take complaints very seriously and they are dealt with through our complaints process.

“Tim Davie has requested that this process be expedited with the Complaints Executive Unit, which is editorially independent of the news and will ensure that complaints receive a full response as quickly as possible.”

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