Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Huw Edwards defends BBC after accusations of bias in election campaign coverage

Huw Edwards led the BBC’s coverage of the General Election (Matt Crossick/PA)
Huw Edwards led the BBC’s coverage of the General Election (Matt Crossick/PA)

Huw Edwards has hit back at suggestions of BBC bias during coverage of the General Election campaign.

The broadcaster was criticised by both the Left and the Right in the weeks before the poll.

Edwards, 58, who led the BBC’s coverage on the night after taking over from David Dimbleby, criticised “toxic cynicism and accusations of bias (from all sides)”.

He wrote on LinkedIn: “You realise yet again that the real purpose of many of the attacks is to undermine trust in institutions which have been sources of stability over many decades.

“The apparent purpose, in short, is to cause chaos and confusion.”

He said colleagues had to resist “relentlessly vitriolic attacks” and “the sometimes appalling levels of pressure from political parties and their puppets in parts of the press and elsewhere”.

Edwards, who has covered every general election since 1987, said: “We sometimes make mistakes which we deeply regret.”

But the News At Ten presenter denied “the most curious notion of all (promoted with great energy by the BBC’s critics on both left and right) … that these mistakes are often ‘deliberate’, carefully planned to undermine one party and boost another.”

Lord Grade
Lord Grade (Peter Byrne/PA)

His comments came as former BBC chairman Lord Grade criticised broadcasters for their response to politicians who turn down appearances or interviews.

Andrew Neil was wrong to broadcast a monologue after Boris Johnson snubbed his programme and Channel 4 should not have replaced the Prime Minister with an ice sculpture when he refused to take part in a debate, the Conservative peer said.

“The issue here is impartiality, and broadcasters have a statutory duty to respect that.

“It is not their job to use the airwaves to cajole and try to coerce politicians into interviews or to shame them publicly if they exercise their right to refuse,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.

The Prime Minister is reported to be looking into consulting on whether people who do not pay the £154.50 licence fee for watching television or BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service should be prosecuted.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]