BBC upholds complaint against Emily Maitlis over 'sneering' Newsnight Brexit debate with Rod Liddle

Mail Online | 9/24/2019 | Milly Vincent For Mailonline
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BBC presenter Emily Maitlis faced an internal investigation by the broadcaster after viewers complained she was 'sneering and bullying' towards Sun columnist and leave voter Rod Liddle.

The executive complaints unit at The BBC determined that Maitlis had been too 'persistent and personal' during the Newsnight discussion on Brexit, July 15.

News - Segment - Liddle - Editor - Spectator

Following the news segment with Liddle, associate editor at The Spectator and columnist for the Sun, and Tom Baldwin, director of communications for the People's Vote campaign, Maitlis was accused of 'failing to be even-handed', reports Press Gazette.

Viewers claimed the presenter's attitude towards Liddle was systemic of the way the BBC has portrayed leave voters.

Liddle - Book - Betrayal - Story - Brexit

While questioning Liddle on his book called the great betrayal, which covers 'the true story of Brexit', Maitlis said: 'You're not angry that we haven't left, you say that the Remain argument was that all Leavers were basically racists and xenophobes…'

The presenter then went on to suggest that Liddle was seen by many as a racist.

Maitlis - Opinion - Liddle - Columns - Contain

Maitlis shared her opinion that Liddle's weekly columns contain 'consistent casual racism' before claiming that the journalist only writes about 'suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Tower Hamlets.'

At this point in the programme Liddle told the presenter to 'get a grip'.

'Do - Juncture - BBC - Grotesque - Bias

Adding: 'Do you have to, at every possible juncture, show the BBC's grotesque bias? Do you have to?'

The day after the interview Liddle published the complaint in his Spectator column.

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