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tv   Newswatch  BBC News  April 12, 2019 7:45pm-8:01pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at eight... a charge leveled by one sweden considers reopening of its panelists last week. and the perils of presenting an investigation into rape life when you think allegations made against wikileaks you've muted your mobile. how have i done that? founderjulian assange after his arrest over conspiracy charges in the us. they could've kept it going while he was inside the embassy, but they decided not to. now after wednesday night's decision now, if they reopen it, to delay, once again, then we'll deal with that the uk's departure date from the european union, the brexit when it comes to it. debate is likely to dominate tv news the chancellor, philip hammond, for a few months yet. says he hopes that a brexit deal can question time is one of the bbc‘s be agreed in time to stop the uk taking part in next month's european elections. main forums for political debate. clearly nobody wants to fight it's promote one of its own the european parliament elections, for changing the venue for last week's programme with only a couple days‘ notice. it feels like a pointless exercise. warren spencer bradley was not happy. the only way we can avoid that is by getting a deal agreed and done quickly. well, the bbc said the decision former ukip leader nigel farage to switch locations was so that mps launches a new brexit party, who might have been required and says it aims to change british for last—minute votes in parliament on thursday politics for good. could still make it in time to the question time recording. others interpreted the decision to move from leave—voting bolton
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to a fee—paying school in remain—voting london as symptomatic, not just of a metrocentric attitude, but also a bias on the programme — a view articulated by one of last week's panelists, the newspaper columnist charles moore. he turned the tables on question time presenter fiona bruce. can i ask you a question, fiona? because here i am, and i'm delighted and honoured to be here. but there's a panel of five and i'm the only leave supporter. and if you look at the... you're the only person who voted leave. the government is supporting leave... i think i'm the only leave supporter as well, as a matter of fact, but we can argue about that. but i'm certainly the only person who voted leave. and again and again on this programme, the balance totally fails to reflect the wider country... can ijust make the point, charles? this is a question to me, to let me answer it. obviously the government supports the leave position, and last week, we had three people who took the leave position and two who took the remain position... i didn't vote! i can't agree with you, but feel
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free to answer the question... charles moore's analysis chimed with the number of viewers. one, john taylor, recorded this for us. week after week, brexit is the main subject on question time. and yet, week after week, this only ever one person who actually wants brexit who's on the panel. will there ever be the situation where there's only one person who doesn't want brexit on the panel, and the all the rest do? what's the bbc‘s view of that claim? in response to the point made by charles moore, it said in a statement... but question time isn't the only programme that's faced criticism for what's seen as a preponderance of remain voices among its guests. the same point has been made to us about programmes including newsnight and the andrew marr show, and by lynnjones about monday's edition of politics live.
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and nicola smith also detected a wider imbalance. let's discuss this now with the bbc‘s chief political adviser ric bailey. ric, thanks very much for coming in to newswatch on what's turning out to be a very busy time politically. has question time raised this question of brexit balance with you? the obligation for all bbc programmes, and particularly for political programmes — including question time — is to be impartial — actually, to have dual impartiality. and people forget that word dual. it means that programmes have got to think about the context in which they are making judgements about impartiality. so if you think of the context of the referendum, june 2016, voters had a very clear choice
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between remain and leave. it was a very binary moment in british politics, as all referendums are. but particularly so with that one. the situation has changed a lot since then. our obligation as journalists after that vote was to hold politicians to account for that decision, to hold the government to account. and don't forget, we've had a general election since then as well, in 2017, when people remind us a lot that both the big parties stood on a platform of exiting the european union. so to define people individually on programmes like question time as either remainers or leavers, it's not something to ignore. we've got to take it into account. but it's not the be—all and the end—all any more, because people who might have been on the remain side in 2016 have stood on a platform saying, actually, now we're going to leave. what you seem to be saying is that there's no actually objective measure of dual impartiality, that the bbc decides from situation to situation. if that is the case, how do you demonstrate
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to the audience that you are being impartial if you don't have any criteria, objective criteria, against which that can be judged? i don't think that it's not objective. i think where you've got to be careful is thinking that you can do this by maths and slide rules and stopwatches... you do do it during elections. you measure the number of people, the number of contributions from political parties. at the moment, you're measuring the number of women versus number of men contributors. so you are using those tallies in some circumstances. are you tallying up people who supported brexit and people who opposed brexit? i am not saying the maths is irrelevant. what i'm saying is it's not the be—all and the end—all. so we need to be conscious of how much people are on and what their views are, but we don't go back to some arbitrary definition of what remain and leave was which doesn't necessarily fit exactly where we are now. if you don't have those figures,
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how can you refute the figures that, for example, charles moore used ? he quoted the institute of economic affairs. 18 months, it monitored, from june 2016 to december 2017 — so, after the general election — question time and its radio equivalent any questions, and it suggested 69% of the panelists had been declared remain supporters during the referendum and 32% had voted leave. and even if you included in the leave column the people who had shifted their positions — they had been remain during the referendum but now support leave — it was still split 60—40. you're still trying to put in those terms of using slide rules and stopwatches, and measures which are not a definition of impartiality. impartiality, in the end, is about good editorialjudgement... that's the bbc‘s judgement, not the audience's, is what you're saying. of course, and that's what journalism is. journalism is being asked to make those judgements. and, if you like, one of the tests of that is, what does the audience think of that? and still, the bbc is trusted by more people than any other organisation to be telling the truth
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and to be giving an impartial account of what's been happening in brexit, which after all is an incredibly complicated political situation. what advice, then, have you given to question time into similar programmes about how they construct panels at this very sensitive time politically, when we are still aiming to achieve brexit and it hasn't been delivered? that question of dual impartiality obviously programmes have a whole times go to thing about that. it may be over a whole year or a series of programmes that we make shoe views are represented appropriately. there will be moments we re appropriately. there will be moments were that impartiality needs to be judged on a shorter timescale, as now, in an election period, he needs to bejudged more carefully run parties as much as brexit, leave and remain. you're talking about different ways of approaching this full stuff that's why i am not very keen on the word balance because balance implies only two sides, and actually this is much more complicated than that and there are
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many different issues you've got to talk about. just before we finish, as we record this interview, we know that there are expected to be european parliament elections also was sort of challenged is that post to the bbc news? it's a big challenge for everybody. we don't ask enough the elections are going to ta ke ask enough the elections are going to take place. we're starting election period without knowing people are actually going to vote. isa people are actually going to vote. is a pretty unique set of circumstances and i back to my word dual. dual impartiality means we got to think of the carefully about this particular context and make sure we are thinking carefully about what impartiality means when we have got this european election in some parts of the uk, local elections at the same time. that's a really come to get a position against that background of brexit. a lot of thinking to go on over the cover to make coming days and weeks. ric bailey, thanks very much. on thursday, jack shepherd was sent to prison for six years for manslaughter of charlotte brown in a
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speed boat crash in 2015. he had an extra six months added to his sentence for fleeing the country. and return to the uk the night before on a flight from georgia and he was on the plane that reporter sarah rainsford caught up with him. he's never spoken public before, so i asked what he had to say to the family of charlotte brown, killed in a crash on his speedboat. i'm terribly sorry for my involvement in cha rlotte's terribly sorry for my involvement in charlotte's death and furthermore, my subsequent actions which i see have only served to make things worse and i like to make amends for that. why did you run? fear? juliet wonders 100th was a kaymer clue and interview... peter asked...
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finally avenues watch —— newswatch is recorded and so we can avoid the life stuff like me tripping over the furniture. it happens on live tv there. general mike jackson was being interviewed... a success is costing all of these lives and yet... even more embarrassing is the presenter‘s phone going off, as happened on breakfast. that's so embarrassing. however he done that? it's still going. how have i done that? i really... i genuinely don't
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know what i did. i apologise profusely. you really are embarrassed, aren't you? she said tomorrow morning she had handed her phone over to the exit authorities. her co—host confirm that the macro there but for the grace of god. things for our comments this week. if you want to share your comments on affairs, do e—mail... or you can find us on twitter. you can call us on... and do have a look at our website... that's all from us, we are off on our easter break next weekend. samara will be back here in a force night—time. goodbye. hello there. it's been a relatively
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quiet story and yet again across the country. we've seen some beautiful weather watcher pictures. absolutely stunning for some that is where the best of the sunshine and the best of the warmth has been. we are still under this influence of high pressure but the source coming out of scandinavia across the cool sea, and that's where we see our lowest amateur today. a good deal of dry weather in the story. —— lowest temperature today. the cloud just lingering in northern ireland, wales in southwest england. temperatures should hold up above freezing but elsewhere will see the blue tones moving through, and that means it is going to be a chilly start tour saturday morning. perhaps in rural spots we'll see tim just falling as low as four celsius. —— we will see teva just falling. no significant change in the weather theme through this weekend. it stays cool but mostly dry. there should be some dc sunny spells around. we start off on
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that frost with a lovely note. but more of a breeze and that could drive and a scattering of showers across the east anglia and down into that southeast corner. some of these with some hail, maybe even a little bit of sleet. despite the sunny spells, temperatures are likely to struggle, critically on those exposed north sea coasts. on sunday, really could be a case of spot the difference but i suspect on sunday, a little more cloud around with a little more moisture feeding off the north sea. a cloudier day. always the risk of a few isolated showers on this east coast into badgers with the cloud. —— and temperatures struggling. a change to come in the forecast as we had to easter weekend. that high—pressure will start move away in little and into the early half of the week, it's going to allow these weather fronts to bring some showers. however, not for long, because tings will start to change. we start to drag up a
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southeasterly feed. i will allow slightly milder air to move in. maybe warmer as we get towards the easter weekend. yes, one or two isolated showers around monday, tuesday, but look as we head towards the easter weekend. on good friday, teva chairs are likely to peek into the high teens. —— temperatures are likely to peak. take care.
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