BBC veteran condemned for ‘biased, disrespectful’ leaked Labour manifesto coverage
The host of BBC Radio 4's 'Today' John Humphrys was trending on social media on Thursday morning after the veteran broadcaster railed against the Labour Party’s leaked manifesto during an interview with shadow minister Andrew Gwynne.
Humphrys interrupted Gwynne several times as the politician tried to explain the policies contained in the document, which is to be officially launched next week.
“One of the things [the manifesto] tells us, Mr. Gwynne, is that you want to nationalize the railways, but the problem is you can’t even run your own election campaign,” Humphrys began the interview, laughing at the Labour election campaign coordinator throughout.
However, when the Labour MP tried to argue the leak gave the party “an opportunity to talk about the direction of travel, the kind of society we hope a Labour government will transform this country into,” he was swiftly interrupted by the host.
“Well let’s talk about that in a second, but you didn’t want this to happen, did you? It’s a terrible cockup,” Humphrys said.
While Gwynne held his nerve, listeners from across the political spectrum did not find Humphrys’ interview style as fair or as impartial as the BBC pertains to be.
@BBCr4today John Humphrys that was such a biased and disrespectful interview. Shame on you for laughing at the politics of decency.— Jennifer Love (@je_love_) May 11, 2017
Retweet if you find John Humphrys rude, inane and idiotic. I used to listen to #r4today daily & largely avoid it now because of him.— Mark Carrigan (@mark_carrigan) May 11, 2017
"The manifesto is far too far to the left for the British public" says Humphrys, giving us the benefit of his right wing opinion #r4today— Clapton Blues (@garyfoskett) May 11, 2017
“Retweet if you find John Humphrys rude, inane and idiotic. I used to listen to #r4today daily & largely avoid it now because of him,” one disgruntled listener tweeted.
“Humphrys’ unbridled hostility towards Labour’s policies – namely renationalisation and more trade union rights -- is astonishing,” another user said.
“Humphrys should learn to listen to all his guests with impartiality and interest; not just those who confirm his own narrow bias,” another added.
The controversial interview followed the leak of the party’s manifesto on Wednesday night.
The right-wing press splashed with the story, with both the Tory-leaning Telegraph and Daily Mail claiming the manifesto would “take Britain back to the 1970s.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was reportedly forced to pull out of an election poster launch on Thursday morning to tackle the emergency, which unfolded hours before his party’s leadership was set to meet and sign off the crucial document.
A ‘Clause V’ meeting took place on Thursday morning to decide which leaked policies to include in the official manifesto. The document being reported in the media is not the finished version. Corbyn chaired the meeting attended by national executive committee members and trade union representatives.
It is believed that the right-wing of the party will take issue with the socialist tone of the document, which includes the nationalization of the Royal Mail, railways and energy companies, as well as scrapping higher education tuition fees.