BBC’s Nick Robinson insists broadcaster doesn’t have Brexit bias
The comments, made in an article for the Radio Times magazine, came after the BBC was accused of both pro and anti-Brexit bias.
Robinson, a former political editor at the Beeb who was once president of his Conservative Party youth group, joked that critics should “leave it out” and “remain calm” when assessing the BBC’s reporting, as the referendum is now well and truly over.
“The BBC’s job is not to look over its shoulder wondering whether a report, interview or discussion will provoke letters of complaint or a tide of tweets from Remainers or Leavers - who, like fighters who emerge after months of hiding in a bush, seem not to accept that the war is over,” Robinson wrote.
“Our job, instead, is to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the audience as a whole – the people we serve – who, in the main, are not members of political parties or campaigns or, indeed, people who would dream of defining themselves by how they voted in the referendum.”
Last week, the BBC was criticized for failing to cover a large pro-EU demonstration taking place outside the Houses of Parliament.
Social media users condemned the absence of coverage, including establishment figures like Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
However, Brexiteers are not happy with the broadcaster either, with no fewer than 70 MPs signing an open letter to ‘Auntie’ earlier in March shaming the BBC for its alleged pro-EU bias.
Robinson himself has attracted accusations of bias, particularly over the question of Scottish independence.
In 2014, the veteran broadcaster was called out by then-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for allegedly slanting his reporting in favor of the union, an accusation Robinson denied.