The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has admitted that a presenter who told her she was “delighted” at Boris Johnson’s failure to return as prime minister breached impartiality rules.
As a public broadcaster, funded by a TV license that every British resident who watches live TV, even if none of it is BBC content, must pay, or face criminal fines and prison terms for not paying, the BBC and its representatives are legally bound to be politically impartial.
While this is a task that many conservatives and even some veteran BBC broadcasters do not think they fulfill particularly well, they were forced to give the impression of taking some sort of action after presenter Martine Croxall seemingly expressed open glee at the failure of his bid Boris Johnson. to return as leader of the Conservative Party and by extension prime minister.
“Am I allowed to be this happy? Well, I am,” the host said on the show The papers as Johnson ducked and bowed out of the contest, which Rishi Sunak – who had been rejected by ordinary Conservative Party members a few weeks before – won in a landslide, with members not asking for their approval a second time.
Croxall’s “remarks and reactions… created a significant risk that the public would believe that views were expressed about the Conservative leadership contest”, the BBC has now concluded – as if there was any doubt as to whether her views were actually expressed about the one in question competition.
The broadcaster added that “[t]taken together’ with Croxall failing to adequately challenge and challenge the visitors The papers critical of Johnson, the program “did not meet our editorial standards in that it gave the public the opportunity to infer an editorial position on the part of the BBC. This is not consistent with the BBC’s commitment to editorial impartiality.”
However, what this admission of error actually means is unclear, with the BBC itself reporting that “Croxall returned on Friday” with no apparent consequence.
There is no indication in the BBC’s coverage of its investigation that Croxall has apologized for her behaviour.
BBC presenter Martine Croxall asks ‘Am I allowed to be this happy? So I am!”
News broke just minutes earlier that Boris Johnson had withdrawn from the race to become prime minister.
Some viewers said they have complained to Ofcom claiming it breaches the BBC’s impartiality. pic.twitter.com/Av2s8ASfdM
— Gareth Davies (@GD10) October 24, 2022