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BBC denies censoring BNP’s inflammatory anti-Muslim campaign

30th May 2014

BBC denies censoring BNP’s inflammatory anti-Muslim campaign

Elham Asaad Buaas

The BBC has denied censoring a controversial BNP cartoon featuring leering Muslim gangs as its party political broadcast, after the party decided to submit a substitute 4 minute clip of a BNP campaigner alleging censorship.

On April 29, just a few seconds of the cartoon was shown, with the segment cutting away to BNP spokesman Simon Darby, who said the “powers that be say we break Ofcom’s rules”. Ofcom do not set the guidelines that govern party political broadcasts on the BBC, only for ITV and Channels 4 and 5.

Contrary to the BNP’s claims of “censorship” in their campaign video, the Corporation announced it did not censor the cartoon but merely advised the party on its guidelines.

The Huffington Post UK leaked a copy of the original animation submitted to the BBC the previous weekend.

The animation featured caricatured Muslim grooming gangs, drinking Alcopop and leering at a schoolgirl, a woman in a burqa begging, and a bloodied silhouette of Michael Adebolajo, the killer of soldier Lee Rigby.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC did not ‘censor’ the broadcast. The BNP asked us for advice on the content on the broadcast and we advised them on the relevant guidelines and the law, when they subsequently submitted the broadcast it was editorially compliant.”

The Corporation’s guidelines state that party broadcasts have an “obligation to observe the law, for example on libel, copyright and incitement to racial hatred and violence.”

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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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