Newsnight blunder on Corbyn budget speech tops BBC complaints report

An episode of Newsnight that played the wrong clip of Jeremy Corbyn responding to the budget was the most complained about programme on the BBC in the past fortnight.

The BBC has revealed it received 177 complaints about Newsnight on the evening of the budget, which showed Corbyn responding to the spring budget rather than November’s.

The BBC said the mistake was due to a “production error” and apologised. In a response to the complaints, the corporation said: “The programme team has edited the version of the programme available on BBC iPlayer to make sure it includes the correct clip.

“We apologise for this mistake, and the programme team have put actions in place to make sure this clip isn’t incorrectly used again.”

The BBC revealed the response to the Newsnight error in its new fortnightly report about complaints it has received. Under new rules set by the media regulator, Ofcom, the BBC has to reveal the number of complaints it receives every fortnight, identify the shows that received more than 100, and explain the editorial issues raised and whether the complaints were upheld.

The latest report shows the BBC received 6,730 complaints between 13 November and 26 November. This compares with 8,377 complaints in the previous two weeks, when the most complained about programme was an episode of Have I Got News for You in which the host, Jo Brand, rebuked an all-male panel for seemingly not taking allegations of sexual harassment seriously.

The BBC has also revealed that it has upheld a complaint about an episode of the Sunday Politics from April.

During the episode Andrew Neil, the host, put a claim to Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, that one child in five in Scotland leaves school “functionally illiterate”.

However, a viewer said there was no basis for the claim and the BBC’s executive complaint unit upheld the objection.

The ruling was that the figure had originally been put forward by the Scottish Conservatives as being from the Scottish Survey for Literacy and Numeracy in 2009. However, there was no reference to “functional illiteracy” or data in the report that justified the claim.

The BBC said the Sunday Politics team “has been reminded of the need to establish the evidential basis of claims that are quoted in its question”.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Graham Ruddick, for theguardian.com on Thursday 30th November 2017 18.13 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010