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Nadine Dorries plans to target Ofcom over ‘bias towards the BBC’

Nadine Dorries plans to target Ofcom over ‘bias towards the BBC’ as officials raise concerns that 10 out of 14 of regulator’s content board members used to work at the broadcaster

  • The Culture Secretary is expected to examine the regulator’s role as part of an upcoming review into the Corporation’s complaints process
  • Officials have raised concerns that out of the 14 members of Ofcom’s Content Board, ten are ex-BBC employees
  • Over the past two years, only one complaint about the Corporation was investigated by Ofcom, out of 418 referred to it by the BBC 


Nadine Dorries is planning to review Ofcom’s structure following concerns over bias towards the BBC, The Mail on Sunday understands.

The Culture Secretary is expected to examine the regulator’s role as part of an upcoming review into the Corporation’s complaints process.

Officials have raised concerns that out of the 14 members of Ofcom’s Content Board, ten are ex-BBC employees. The regulator is the ultimate authority to which complaints can be escalated.

Over the past two years, only one complaint about the Corporation was investigated by Ofcom, out of 418 referred to it by the BBC. 

This is a fraction of the 830,632 viewer complaints made in total to the Corporation over the same period.

A Government source said: ‘Fundamentally this needs to be looked at.’

Ian Paisley, the DUP MP for North Antrim, accused the BBC of ‘marking their own homework’.

Nadine Dorries is planning to review Ofcom’s structure following concerns over bias towards the BBC, The Mail on Sunday understands

He said the low number of complaints investigated by Ofcom ‘shows the complaint process lacks all credibility’. ‘Hundreds of thousands of complaints made and only one of them gets through the net,’ he added. ‘This is not a transparent or credible system and the government has a duty to the licence fee payer to fix it.’

Asked about its Content Board being predominantly made up of former BBC employees, an Ofcom spokesman said: ‘Nobody should doubt that Ofcom acts with complete independence.

‘Industry experience is vital to strong regulation and our Content Board is made up of experts from a range of commercial, media and telecoms backgrounds, including newspapers, Channel 4, Sky, tech platforms and the BBC.’ Last week the Corporation admitted that an interview with lawyer Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell guilty verdict breached editorial guidelines.

No reference was made by the broadcaster to Mr Dershowitz’s involvement in the case or his previous representation of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Culture Secretary is expected to examine the regulator's role as part of an upcoming review into the Corporation's complaints process

The Culture Secretary is expected to examine the regulator’s role as part of an upcoming review into the Corporation’s complaints process

The Mail on Sunday understands that BBC executive news editor Jess Brammar was duty manager when the interview aired.

Her appointment saw Government sources questioning the BBC’s commitment to impartiality. The BBC said: ‘Mr Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience. We will look into how this happened.’

Last night the broadcaster also faced criticism over its New Year’s Eve coverage. Shortly after midnight it showed Hamilton actor Giles Terera performing a poem about 2021, which made reference to footballers taking the knee.

Tory MP Sir John Hayes said: ‘The BBC’s skewed views on what matter are now well known. It came as no surprise they should misjudge the first message of the New Year.’

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