The BBC is “leading the charge” for Remain after “bitterly regretting” its impartiality during the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, the Daily Mail has claimed.
In a leader column today, the newspaper questioned why the broadcaster had devoted “so much airtime” to the “embittered pro-EU ramblings” of former Tory ministers with “axes to grind”.
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The comments come after The Times ran a front page story on leaked documents from the Treasury yesterday that claimed the UK could lose up to £66bn a year in tax revenues as a result of a “hard Brexit”.
The Mail, which campaigned for Leave, said the claim was “entirely bogus” and based on a “six-month-old study” commissioned by former chancellor George Osborne.
The newspaper said Osborne had been the “architect” of “Project Fear” – a nickname given to Remain campaigners’ warnings about the negative economic impact of a vote to leave the EU.
“Remain supporting MPs were being given copius airtime by the BBC to make unsubstantiated claims of impending doom for the UK outside of the single market,” said the Mail.
“A well-heeled group of London ‘intellectuals’ which is used to having everything its own way – and which has ignored the ordinary voter for decades – is out for revenge on Mrs May to and re-assert its own authority.
“The BBC – which is not bitterly regretting its admirable impartiality during the referendum and has returned to type – is leading the Remain charge.
“Quite why it devotes so much airtime to the embittered pro-EU ramblings of the wet-behind-the-ears ex-Tory ministers Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry, only it knows.
“For the Mail’s [part, we know both women were unceremoniously sacked by Mrs May in July and have axes to grind.”
A source at the BBC told Press Gazette: “There’s nothing new in people having strong views about our coverage, but the public will notice a distinct irony in the BBC being accused of failing to do enough to stop Brexit on the one hand while being criticised for being anti-Brexit on the other.
“As we’ve said before, our job is to challenge politicians from all sides and interrogate the arguments. That’s what we’ve been doing and what we’ll continue to do.”