The BBC — which receives public funding, so is bound by standards of impartiality — admitted today that it had “breached” its own guidelines in its coverage of the Dominic Cummings controversy. Last night, during the program Newsnight, host Emily Maitlis began by saying that “the country can see” that Cummings, chief adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, had “broken the [lockdown] rules,” after the government insisted that he had not.
After the program, the BBC released the following statement:
The BBC must uphold the highest standards of due impartiality in its news output. We’ve reviewed the entirety of last night’s Newsnight, including the opening section, and while we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme. As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality. Our staff have been reminded of the guidelines.
In addition, Emily Maitlis will be replaced on tonight’s program by Katie Razzall.