BBC urged to act after eco-warrior Chris Packham ‘breaks new anti-bias rules’


BBC chiefs are under pressure to act after eco-warrior presenter Chris Packham appeared to break their tough new anti-bias rules on Twitter.

The greeny TV star retweeted Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner’s tirade against “sickening” Tories to his 444,000 followers, sparking calls for Tim Davie to get tough.

Chris Packham is accused of breaking the new BBC anti-bias rules

Last month the new BBC Director General issued new rules for BBC stars and their social media behaviour, but critics say Packham’s tweet has “fallen at the first hurdle.”

Those working in “factual journalism” are ordered not to “express support for any political party.”

And they are banned from expressing views “on any policy which is a matter of current political debate or on a matter of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other ‘controversial subject’.”

Now critics say the outspoken Springwatch and Autumnwatch presenter has fallen foul of the clampdown by sharing Ms Rayner accusation of “sickening cronyism” that “makes a mockery of our fight against Covid” in a row about Government spending.

The boss of the Countryside Alliance said: “Tim Davie’s new social media guidelines have fallen at the first hurdle.”

Campaigner Tim Bonner added: “Few BBC presenters are more closely associated with the corporation than Chris Packham and it is difficult to imagine more partial and party political use of Twitter than this.”

The BBC star retweeted Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner’s rant

And Conservative MP Greg Smith said: “It is incomprehensible that Chris Packham is flouting BBC social media guidelines. 

“Given the BBC’s bias problem, the Corporation needs to get tough with their presenters who continue to drag their reputation and credibility into the mud.”

Tonight the BBC declined to comment on individual cases but warned: “Everyone knows what is expected of them, both from the organisation and the audiences we serve.”

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