BBC and Channel 4 News both accept failure to reveal Labour links of NHS 'winter crisis' sources

The BBC and Channel 4 News have both accepted their failure to identify the Labour Party links of two medical personnel who spoke about the alleged winter NHS crisis.

Channel 4 referred to Dagan Lonsdale as a “junior doctor” on Channel 4 News last night without mentioning that he spoke at the launch of Labour’s “NHS New Deal” plan in May 2017.

During his appearance on Channel 4 News, which has been shared more than 2000 times on Twitter, Lonsdale said an NHS crisis had been created by the Government.

In one tweet highlighted by the Guido Fawkes blog, Lonsdale said: “Imagine if we’d had another couple weeks of campaigning. Corbyn’s labour absolutely extraordinary.”

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “On last night’s Channel 4 News, we broadcast a comprehensive segment examining the NHS winter crisis.

“Following an in-depth interview with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt running for over seven minutes, we held a live panel discussion with a number of contributors to discuss this topic.

“The panel included junior doctor and regular NHS commentator Dagan Lonsdale. However, we accept that given his previous campaign activity on behalf of the Labour Party, his political interests should have been made clearer to viewers.”

BBC Radio 5 Live was criticised yesterday for not introducing Danielle Tiplady as a Labour Party activist during a segment on the NHS. The show instead introduced her as a “staff nurse”.

Tiplady appeared on the BBC News Channel in April 2017 in her uniform and was introduced as a “community nurse”. On that occasion the BBC also failed to mention her links to the Labour Party.

A BBC 5 Live spokesperson said: “BBC 5 live seeks a wide range of voices for its phone-ins. We should have established and made clear on air this contributor was a political activist.

“The programme also spoke to Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Health Select Committee in the House of Commons.”

When asked whether 5Live would invite Tiplady back on the show and, if so, how they would introduce her, a spokesperson said: “We don’t speculate on what news we will report impartially in the future.”

The spokesperson added that significant complaint figures are published fortnightly and that they would not be sharing the number of complaints they received about Tiplady’s appearance outside of that.

The broadcast regulator Ofcom told Press Gazette that it had received two complaints about Tiplady’s appearance on 5 Live yesterday. A further five complaints were received about her slot on BBC News back in April 2017.

The Ofcom spokeperson said that the complainants were told to raise their concerns with the BBC first.  

Tiplady was the Momentum-backed candidate during the Labour Party candidate selection process for Thurrock in November 2017.

Tiplady did not make it through to the final candidate selection shortlist, according to a report by the LabourList blog.

Guido Fawkes revealed that Tiplady has also appeared in a Labour Party broadcast, written for the “radical media and socialist organisation” Counterfire and chanted “Tories out” at a protest. The blog also posted a screenshot of Tiplady using the Twitter name “Danielle vote Labour”.

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