Board of Deputies President expresses ‘deep concern’ about reporting in Patel case in letter to  BBC Head of News
20 June 2019
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Board of Deputies President has sent a letter of complaint to Head of BBC News Fran Unsworth expressing deep concern over the corporation’s reporting of the antisemitic social media postings of Abdullah Patel, who was allowed to ask a question in the Conservative Party leadership debate.

Marie wrote of Mr Patel’s tweet. “The tweet is a well-known antisemitic trope. Throughout history, Jews have been accused of controlling politicians through financial means, with ‘Zionist’ often used as a proxy term.”

She added: “We are deeply concerned by an apparent editorial decision across the BBC to term the tweet ‘anti-Israel’: on the BBC news website, on Wednesday’s BBC News at Ten and by two journalists on that night’s Newsnight. They did so without mentioning the offensive content of the tweet. This is deeply problematic.”

She concluded: “We would like you to correct any online reporting of the tweet, stating clearly that it is antisemitic. We would also ask for an onscreen apology and a pledge to accurately report antisemitism in future.”

Read the letter here.