BBC Chair Sharp’s spin on bias ‘ludicrous’ says SNP media spokesman

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This morning, senior BBC bosses appeared before cross-party MPs of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee for the Committee’s annual session scrutinising the work of the BBC.

During the three-hour long session, BBC Director General Tim Davie and Chair Richard Sharp faced questions on job losses and political bias at the highest ranks of the corporation.

The SNP’s media spokesman, John Nicolson MP asked the BBC bosses to comment on former ‘Newsnight’ presenter Emily Maitlis’ claim that an active Tory agent – Sir Robbie Gibb – was at work at the BBC.  John Nicolson pointed out that far from enforcing impartiality, former Tory spin doctor and current BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb had liked a ‘blatantly party political tweet’ from Scottish Conservative MP, Andrew Bowie, which stated “Very pleased this will be the SNPs (sic) last few years in government.”

Responding, BBC Chair Richard Sharp said that Gibb did not like the tweet, saying ‘what actually happened was, in scrolling through tweets, his finger actually passed over that particular area of the telephone which meant that the heart got touched. But he did not like that tweet.’

Commenting, John Nicolson said,

“Mr Sharp’s excuse was like a line from a ‘Little Britain’ sketch. It was ludicrous. Emily Maitlis is right to be concerned about Tory pressure on the BBC. Former Tory spin doctor Robbie Gibb, a BBC board member, liked anti-SNP propaganda. It’s completely inappropriate. But it’s an insight into the role Ms Maitlis says he plays at the BBC.”