Board of Deputies President expresses ‘deep concern’ about reporting in Patel case in letter to  BBC Head of News

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.

Keep Informed

Sign up for our weekly briefing, delivered to your inbox every Thursday, giving you up to date news on events and activists of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, as well as the activities of member organisations and partners. 
Subscribe to Community Briefing


The Board of Deputies relies on the generous support of the Jewish community through individual contributions and donations. Help us be the voice of the British Jewish community by donating today. All funds received go to our core charitable mission.