BBC accused of 'bias' over European election coverage - despite giving Nigel Farage prime interview slot

Rebecca Speare-Cole
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BBC accused of 'bias' over European election coverage - despite giving Nigel Farage prime interview slot

BBC accused of 'bias' over European election coverage - despite giving Nigel Farage prime interview slot

The BBC was facing accusations of bias over its European election coverage today, with viewers saying the broadcaster "grossly under represented" the Brexit Party in its election coverage.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage consistently criticised the BBC during his election campaign, claiming the broadcaster did not not give his new pro-leave party enough airtime.

But the broadcaster has repeatedly denied accusations of bias, pointing out that Nigel Farage has made several appearances on BBC programmes including Question Time, and The Andrew Marr Show.

He was also given a prime slot for an interview on BBC News on Monday morning after his party swept the board in the vote. In his interview, he said Theresa May failed to deliver the referendum result by “trying to please everybody”.

Nigel Farage accused the BBC of not giving the Brexit Party enough airtime. (PA)

Yet hundreds of people nonetheless took to Twitter to complain about the broadcaster's “blatant bias” against the party. Many also accused Sky News of similarly slanted coverage.

East of England MEP, Patrick O’Flynn wrote on Sunday night: “I know it’s early but I must say BBC coverage is missing the obvious huge story – the Brexit Party has won these elections and won them big.”

Later he added: “Why have BBC got Heidi Allen from Chelmsford but nothing from Richard Tice of the winning party?”

Twitter user Graham Weeks also wrote: “BBC blatant bias last night. I watched until midnight and the Brexit party was grossly under represented on air."

Another wrote: “BBC remain bias alive and kicking. Total focus on lib dems. Almost no airtime for Brexit which is trouncing it.”

Accusations were also directed towards Sky with one commenter saying: “Great pro EU spin as always. Sky and BBC coverage is so remain bias it’s laughable.”

Others said: “Sky new coverage is far worst,” and “Sky news seems to be ignoring all the huge 40% plus wins for the Brexit Party.”

On the other hand, pro-EU social media users were also accusing the broadcaster of bias against Remainer parties.

Francis Grove-White tweeted BBC Politics to say: “you might want to update your lead story on the EP elections to reflect the fact that more than 42% of the vote went to explicitly pro-People’s Vote parties, with just 35% going to Brexit Party & UKIP combined. “

Another wrote: “Huge bias of which MEPs being interviewed tonight. Where are the Lib Dems and Greens?

“The media are pushing the Brexit party to the forefront over and over again on both BBC and Sky.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “The Brexit Party being the clear winner, with the Liberal Democrats coming second, was our lead story.

"The BBC’s EU election coverage provided accurate, impartial reporting and analysis.”