Is BBC Question Time biased? Vote in our poll

Question Time has been targeted over accusations of bias for years despite the programme-makers insisting the flagship show tries to take an impartial line.

There is almost always someone from the Government on the panel alongside an MP from the official opposition, as well as politicians from other political parties.

But the show, presented by Fiona Bruce, has come under fire in the past, including from critics who accused Question Time of bias towards Remainers when it was pointed out the 10 most frequently appearing panellists opposed Brexit.

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The then-proposed incoming chair of the BBC, Richard Sharp, told MPs on Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee in January 2021 that he believed the programme had more Remainers than Brexiteers as panellists in the lead up to the UK leaving the EU.

Question Time insists it aims every week to select a panel with “a broad range of views, knowledge and experience” as well as those who are “relevant to the big stories or debates of that week”.

In the last episode, broadcast from Doncaster, the panellists were veteran journalist Andrew Neil, Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, Conservative Cabinet member Esther McVey, Labour MP Steve Reed and comedian Zoe Lyons.

The programme included discussion on a range of topics, including migration, the Israel-Hamas conflict and the Government’s levelling up agenda.

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Panellists are not aware what questions will be raised by members of the audience ahead of the show being aired, with the questions and answers often triggering fierce debate among the guests and studio audience.

Besides accusations of bias levelled against Question Time for its choice of panellists, the programme has also fallen foul of similar criticisms over its selection of audience members. In 2019, some viewers slammed the show, accusing it of “planting” people who gave then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn an “easy ride”.

The show maintains audience members reflect a broad range of political views with Question Time producers calling applicants ahead of selection to ask about their voting record, how they plan to vote next time and how the voted in the Brexit referendum.

Question Time says: “In observing due impartiality, political fairness, and our intent to represent that wide range of views, our audience broadly reflects the electoral map of the nation.”

Do you agree? Is BBC Question Time biased or not? Have your say by taking part in our poll and sharing your views in the comments section below.

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