BBC editorial director Kamal Ahmed has dubbed Brexit “a bit rubbish” in an internal email to the broadcaster’s journalists, it has been reported.
Writing to BBC correspondents about upcoming economic forecasts from the Treasury and Bank of England, Ahmed said to get across to audiences that “under any Brexit scenario the economy is likely to be worse off”.
- August 12, 2020
- August 10, 2020
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The email, published by Guido Fawkes, also suggested BBC reporters should treat forecasts as a “distribution of possibilities”, pointing to the most likely outcome, rather than a “nailed on certainty”.
Writing about Brexit, Ahmed said: “The point to get across to audiences is the broad one – under any Brexit scenario the economy is likely to be worse off.
“This was the key point of the vast bulk of the pre-referendum forecasts which correctly predicted that sterling would fall, the economy slow, inflation rise and business investment falter…
“On the Brexit economic forecasts, if we leave the impression ‘well it might be right, it might be wrong’ we would be doing a disservice to our audiences.
“On economics (and of course there are many other ways to judge Brexit, politically, culturally) the evidence from expert modellers who know what they are talking about (unlike many non-economist politicians) is clear – it’s a bit rubbish.”
Ahmed went on to add that while Brexit was important to the country’s economy, other factors such as education policy, private sector investment and the jobs market had to be considered.
Criticising the email, Guido pointed to “predictions of recession, surging unemployment and collapsing inward investment” following the Brexit vote that “all turned out to be totally wrong”.
Ahmed was promoted to the BBC editorial director role earlier this year and was previously in the public broadcaster’s economics editor.
Before moving into the role, he told the Edinburgh International Book Festival that the BBC needed to examine how it did the news, including how it covered the economy and Brexit.
A BBC spokesperson said it had no comment on the email.
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