Here are the 25 different ways that BBC Question Time was accused of bias on Twitter last night

Martin Belam
Sep 18, 2015 · 5 min read

It’s almost like - at least some of the time - bias might be in the eye of the beholder…

With the BBC facing a politically tense period of Charter Renewal, and with accusations of “bias” part of the agenda after a lot of scrutiny of the Corporation’s coverage of the 2015 General Election, I thought it might be instructive to see all of the different types of bias that the BBC is accused of on Twitter during one single transmission of Question Time.

1. Post-Corbyn Anti-Labour bias

2. Normal Pro-Labour bias


3. Left-wing bias

which can be further sub-classified into

4. Slight left-wing bias


5. Hard left-wing bias


6. Centre-left wing claptrap

“Shouldn’t be on TV”


7. Full-blown Socialism

8. Oh and right-wing rubbish bias

9. Pro-Irish Unionism bias

10. Pro-Syrian refugee bias

11. Pro-migrant propaganda bias

12. Audience clearly biased against left-wing views bias

13. Audience clearly biased against right-wing views bias

14. Audience selection does not match unspecified theoretical representation of the UK population bias

15. Audience selection is “leftard” bias

16. Anti-Vidya bias

Oh no hang on, that was someone watching the Horizon documentary about whether video games can be implicated in violent behaviour on catch-up

17. Pro-posh Tim Stanley bias


18. Anti-Tim Stanley made to do his work bias

“Made to do work”

19. Pro-lynching the Labour party bias

20. Internal Labour fighting anti-Blairite bias

21. Party Political broadcast on behalf of the Labour party bias

22. Party Political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative party bias

23. An anti-environmental bias in the news agenda bias

I think they are referring to this, as reported by The Guardian: “Cameron gives top environment policy job to oil man ahead of major climate talks

24. Pro-Iggy & The Stooges bias

25. And here come the racists…

“Third world”

Looking through tweets that used the hashtag #bbcqt and the word “bias” together while the show was on air, I found 11 that could be interpreted as a complaint that the show had a “left-wing” bias, and 10 that could be interpreted as the show having a “right-wing” bias.

Of course, there were plenty of tweets about the programme without the hashtag, and loads complaining of an unspecified “bias”. Basically I’d sum the whole thing up with these screenshots of consecutive tweets, and a theory that maybe, just maybe, some of the bias people claim to see in mainstream political journalism is partly a product of their own views on what impartial or objective looks like to them personally.

No, that would be silly…


These tweets were all posted between 10:33 and 11:40 on Thursday 17th September, during the transmission of the first episode of Question Time since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party. The panel featured Sandi Toksvig, Elizabeth Truss MP, John McDonnell MP, Tim Stanley and Alex Salmond MP.

Martin Belam

Written by

Social & New Formats Editor for the Guardian in London. Journalist. Designer.

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