Angry of Bexley and Bromley

I watched the BBC’s coverage of Livingstone’s media stunt at the MPA this morning. I wasn’t surprised that the covered it but I was surprised by how unbalanced the reporting was.

I was moved to send the following missive to an important person who works at the Beeb:


I am very unhappy with the BBC London element of today’s lunchtime news, in
particular the reporting of Ken Livingstone’s appearance at the MPA this morning.

I struggle to see how the presentation of a blatantly political and numerically insignificant petition (400 names form a city of 7 million people!) warrants a slot on the news. Having decided to cover the story I would have expected the piece to include at least some attempt at balance and context, both were missing. The report highlighted Ken Livingstone’s position but failed to show responses from the MPA’s Chief Exec Catherine Crawford, Steve O’Connell AM or myself, all of whom addressed points that he raised.

The former Mayor is showboating as part of his attempt to get the Labour nomination, he is doing this by campaigning against a policy created under his mayoralty, enacted by Len Duval AM whilst Chairman of the MPA and continued by Boris. None of this came across from your report.

If you intend to use this package again I feel it inexcusable not to include a balancing opinion at the very least.

Ooooooooh I feel better now.

6 responses to “Angry of Bexley and Bromley

  1. Can Boris not stick up for himself, James? I don't think your constituents elected you to act as his personal press officer.

  2. I can tell you're angry- there's a lot of heat.

    But no light. What was factually inaccurate about the report?

  3. Anon,

    This is about an MPA process and as a member of the MPA I want the report to be accurate and balanced.


    It is inaccurate by omission. There was a lack of balance and context. As I said in the email to the BBC

  4. I was a bit disappointed with you James – you failed to back up your pre-match boasts. It would have been interesting if you had, but perhaps you were intimidated by the proximity of your seat to Ken's?

  5. With all due respect you would have been much more effective than Steve. Pulling faces, chewing his glasses, tapping his pen, leaning back in his chair, studying the roof of City Hall and walking to the edge of the Chamber with his back to Ken so that he could admire the river and the Tower of London, all followed by a rant about the previous government were not that effective.

    You should have more confidence in yourself – if you'd raised the points made in your previous blog you might have put Ken on the spot and given him a biot of a run for his money. This may in turn have led to some coverage from the BBC, thus balancing things up. Unfortunately Steve wasn't up to the job.

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