John McDonnell attacks BBC for broadcasting Tory 'lies'

Posted On: 
3rd May 2017

John McDonnell has launched an angry attack on the BBC over its coverage of a Tory dossier claiming Labour has a £45bn black hole in its spending plans.

John McDonnell is unhappy with the BBC's election coverage.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Shadow Chancellor said the claims were "lies" and that the Corporation should not be covering it.

In an angry exchange on Radio Four's flagship Today programme, Mr McDonnell said: "Let me say about what's come out this morning. This is a, to be frank, in common parlance, people would call what the Tories have published today lies, absolute lies.

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"And I'm shocked that the BBC has just taken a Conservative press release and has repeated it all morning. You're the BBC, you have to have some form of at least analysis before you put something on air."

He accused the Conservatives of combining Labour's revenue and capital spending plans and added: "I think it's shoddy that the Tories have produced it but also I have to say I think it's the BBC should have been critical before they run with headlines that they've got."

His comments come just a day after Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott also accused Today presenter John Humphreys of "reading from a Conservative Party press release" when interviewing her.

In another interview, she claimed the media's focus on her inability to say how much Labour's plan to recruit 10,000 more police officers would cost had reduced its "credibility".

A BBC spokeswoman said: “During the rough and tumble of the election campaign our job is to scrutinise claims made by all sides, which is exactly what we did this morning and will continue to do over the coming weeks.”