Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 14:08 UK

Bradshaw in 'bias' attack on BBC

Ben Bradshaw
Mr Bradshaw has been unhappy with the BBC's coverage

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw has accused the BBC of bias, describing coverage of shadow chancellor George Osborne's speech as "feeble".

Mr Bradshaw, a former BBC journalist, said he objected to interviews with two senior Tory figures on the Radio 4 programme Today.

An interview with Mr Osborne - in which he defended his proposed spending cuts - was "biased", he claimed.

The BBC said it was confident the interview was "robust and rigorous".


During Wednesday's Today programme, Mr Osborne was asked to justify his plans for £7bn of annual savings and faced claims that some of the proposals were "half-baked".

It concluded with a discussion of Mr Osborne's conference speech with Michael Brown, a former Tory MP who now writes for the Independent newspaper.

Mr Brown said he believed the Tory leadership had "stolen a march" on Labour about being "genuinely honest" over the economic challenges facing the country.


The shadow chancellor had "come of age" during the conference, he added.

Mr Bradshaw wrote on the social networking site Twitter: "Another wholly feeble and biased Today programme rounded off with a fawning interview with a Tory pundit."

He has also attacked a previous Today interview with shadow schools secretary Michael Gove as "disgracefully feeble".

In a statement, the BBC said: "I think people recognise suggesting your political opponents are somehow getting an easier ride from broadcasters is something that has always been part of politics," a spokeswoman said.

"Broadcasters get this allegation from all sides of the political spectrum and we are confident that this morning's interview was both robust and rigorous."

Mr Bradshaw's Conservative shadow Jeremy Hunt accused him of "aspiring to [Labour former communications chief] Alastair Campbell's role".

"Rather than interfering in the BBC's day-to-day political coverage he would be better off getting to grips with the policy needed to help Britain's struggling media industry," he said.

Mr Bradshaw recently called for the way the BBC is governed to be overhauled.

He has suggested the BBC Trust - which scrutinises BBC strategy and represents the interest of the licence fee payers - was "unsustainable" in the long run.

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