New Statesman's George Eaton says tweet was not allegation of BBC bias after it prompts Daily Mail front page - Press Gazette

New Statesman's George Eaton says tweet was not allegation of BBC bias after it prompts Daily Mail front page

New Statesman political editor George Eaton has countered today’s Daily Mail front-page which was based on a single Twitter message he posted during last night’s BBC general election debate.

Eaton, wrote of the event: “This feels like most left-wing audience in any election debate.”

The Mail’s front-page headline today reads: “Fury at bias on BBC TV debate.”

The intro said: “The BBC was last night accused by a prominent Labour supporter of picking ‘the most left-wing’ election debate audience ever.”

It noted that senior Tories had reacted “furiously” to the jeers which greeted criticism of Jeremy Corbyn during the event.

And it quoted Eaton’s Twitter message  to back up the thrust of the story as set out in the intro.

Eaton told Press Gazette: “When I remarked this ‘feels like the most left-wing audience ever’, it was a casual observation, not an allegation of bias.

“That said, given the public enthusiasm for interventionism, I suspect Britain is a more left-wing country than the Mail sometimes imagines.”

Eaton joined the Statesman as a graduate trainee in 2009 and has been political editor since 2013.

He noted on Twitter last night: “For record, @BBCNewsPR response: ‘The BBC asked ComRes to pick audience representative of the country demographically and politically.’

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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette

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