Andrew Bridgen calls for debate on conduct of journalism organisation behind BBC “Newsnight” report

Andrew Bridgen repeats his call for a debate on the conduct of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which, he says, is seeking to absolve itself of any responsibility for the widely discredited BBC “Newsnight” investigation into allegations of child abuse in north Wales.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): May I ask my right hon. Friend again for a debate on the conduct of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and its handling of allegations of child abuse in north Wales? A report issued last weekend by the bureau’s trustees sought to whitewash their responsibility for the widely discredited “Newsnight” report on the matter. The licence fee payer now faces a bill of £185,000 in damages, but many would argue that the main responsibility lies with the shoddy journalism of the bureau’s chief reporter, Angus Stickler. I believe that the bureau bears equal responsibility; surely it should share the BBC’s costs.

Mr Lansley: My hon. Friend will not expect me to comment on the allocation of those costs. Technically, these are matters not for the Government but for the BBC and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He will share my desire for the BBC to make rapid progress with the Pollard review and publish it in full so that the public can see what was done in relation to the “Newsnight” report.

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