BBC accused of ‘outrageous bias’ after Nick Robinson said Israel ‘murders tens of thousands of innocents’

Corporation should be investigated over comments by veteran presenter, says Tory MP


Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme (photo: Twitter/X)

Politicians have attacked the BBC and accused it of “shocking bias” after presenter Nick Robinson said on Monday that Israel had “murdered tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians”.

Senior Tory Theresa Villiers said there should be “an immediate investigation” into Robinson’s comments.

In an interview with the Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, the BBC Radio 4 Today presenter said he would ask “a question of morality”.

“Western governments appear to back Israel the moment that Israel is under attack, but when Israel attacks and murders tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, we say the words, but we do almost nothing,” Robinson said.

The former PM said he did not agree “at all” with Robinson’s comment and that people can see that “the truly malign actor in the region is Iran”.

The comments on the BBC flagship news programme sparked outrage.

Former Cabinet Minister Theresa Villiers told The Sun: “Even by the BBC’s standards this is shocking bias.

“I can’t believe that this kind of question is asked on one of the nation’s most influential and highly regarded news programmes. Israel does not target civilians. The country is defending itself from a brutal terror attack and making strenuous efforts not to harm civilians.

"The BBC should launch an immediate investigation into this latest example of an anti-Israel statement by one of its presenters,” said Villiers.

Tory MP Greg Smith also slammed Robinson’s comments as “Outrageous bias from the BBC.

“Israel is the nation being attacked – the actual victims – seeking to defend themselves from further attacks by terrorists who have the stated aim of destroying Israel and killing Jews.”

Associate fellow at the Bright Blue think tank, Bella Wallersteiner, called the language "poisonous” and “totally irresponsible” and said she would cancel her licence fee.

JC columnist Nicole Lampert said Robinson’s comments were “dangerous lies”.

“Israel has not deliberately ‘murdered tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians’. Dangerous inflammatory language,” Lampert tweeted.

Fury over Robinson’s statement comes on the same morning that the BBC's Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner, said on BBC Radio 5 Live that Iran’s attack on Israel “comes back to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. This is a wider axis of resistance which is lobbing missiles and rockets into Israel.”

Campaign group North West Friends of Israel slammed Gardner’s comments, saying: “The Iranian axis of resistance is NOT because of ‘Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands’ BUT because Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and others wish to DESTROY the Jewish state of Israel.”

Robinson wrote on Twitter in response to the furore: “I should have been clearer that I was not expressing my own view let alone that of the BBC when I used the words ‘murders’.

“In this 15-minute long interview I asked the Foreign Secretary why ministers had supported Israel militarily; why they didn’t go further & support Israel in confronting Iran; why they weren’t tougher in confronting Israel over Gaza and ended with that question about the perceived ‘morality’ and the ‘risk’ of how the government’s position ‘appears’. It was a lengthy and detailed exploration of the policy choices made by the government.”

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

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