The BBC has been accused of lying to its audience in its ongoing campaign to discredit the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Listeners of its early morning Radio 4 programme woke up to presenter John Humphrys’ speaking about the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which is at the centre of the row within the Labour Party.
Humphrey’s reportedly said that “almost every country in the world has adopted the IHRA definition and examples of anti-Semitism.” His remark was picked up by listeners and was denounced as another one of “BBC fiction”.
Listeners rushed to correct the BBC on social media to point out that of the 195 countries in the world only 31 have adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, citing the Jewish Chronicle as their source. Of those only six are said to have endorsed and adopted it fully with all the examples.
They also pointed out that the six include: Austria is threatening to make Jews put their names on a state register in order to get kosher meat. Lithuania, whose government supports commemorations of Nazi wartime events. And Israel, which has just enacted a constitutional law entrenching apartheid.
Listeners berated Humphrys as an “overpaid liar” for failing to fact check his information on such a crucial topic.
The IHRA definition has been presented by the BBC and the mainstream media as the gold standard which the international community has endorsed in full. This narrative has been pushed by the media, including the Conservative Party to berate Corbyn, even though the reality is the complete opposite.
Not only have the overwhelming majority of countries not adopted the IHRA definition even the Tories do not include the controversial definition in their rule book. The Conservative code of conduct, Channel 4 News found, does not at any point mention the word “anti-Semitism” or spell out a definition of anti-Semitism, IHRA-approved or otherwise.
This is not the first time the BBC has allowed itself to be used to advance a false narrative. Last month the broadcaster was found to have a conflict of interest after it was discovered that the daughter of Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who is at centre of the row, is employed as deputy editor for its main news programmes.