BBC defends John Humphrys' Brexit interview with Tony Blair after complaints it was 'aggressive and biased'

The BBC has responded to significant complaints about an interview with former Prime Minister Tony Blair on the Radio 4 Today programme.

Today presenter John Humphrys interviewed Blair last week about his push for a second referendum on Brexit.

The BBC received complaints from listeners that the interview was “aggressive and biased” against Blair.

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Responding to complaints, the corporation said: “Listeners of the Today programme expect robust and challenging questioning, and it was no different in the interview with Mr Blair.

“If a presenter interrupts, the intention is simply to keep the topic on track and ensure that a guest’s views are properly scrutinised.”

“Interviewees and panels often need firm steering, and a balance of politeness and persistence is needed. Today aims to achieve firm and fair probing of important issues.

“We’re satisfied that John’s questioning was appropriate and in keeping with what our listeners expect.”

During the Today interview, Humphrys pushed Blair on his arguments for a second referendum, saying that ignoring the first result would risk “civil disobedience”.

Twitter was awash with complaints following the interview.

The Remainiacs Podcast, which is hosted by politics.co.uk editor Ian Dunt, tweeted: “Tony Blair patiently explains to #r4today the insupportable costs of Brexit. John Humphrys interrupts “but we voted for it!”

“When even BBC interviewers are supporting the infantile “you lost get over it” argument we really are in trouble.”

The BBC publish responses to complaints when audience concern has “either generated significant numbers of complaints or raised significant issues”.

The BBC publishes fortnightly complaint reports on its website detailing the number of complaints received about particular programmes. The figures have yet to be released for the Blair interview.

Picture: BBC

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9 thoughts on “BBC defends John Humphrys' Brexit interview with Tony Blair after complaints it was 'aggressive and biased'”

  1. No “the UK public” did NOT vote for it. Many of “the UK public” were banned from voting. Democracy ? Even Putin’s Russia lets people vote. Unsure about North Korea.

    Wonder why you ignored this glaringly obvious fact ?

    Commonwealth citizens could, metaphorically, fly-in on day 1, not needing to speak or read English (not all Commonwealth countries have English as their native language) or know anything about England, vote on metaphorical day 2, then fly away on day 3. Those voting Commonwealth citizens do not need any UK residential qualification to vote.

    Meanwhile my Italian barber, here for 55 years, and my Polish neighbour here for 12 years and the nice Ukrainian lady at Lidl’s here for 9 years, could not vote. It shows the disgusting state of alleged “democracy” in the declining and increasingly corrupt UK.

    I reiterate for your personal benefit “Only the insane vote for compulsory mass suicide.”

    I clearly remember the problems before the single market.

    It was the EC that forced the unimpressive UK government to stop discharging raw sewage on British bathing beaches and to reduce air pollution in London and around Heathrow. No EU membership = No clean-up. QED.

    An European Englishman.

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