BBC Panorama programme planning new establishment attack against UKIP


Nigel Farage has tonight revealed that the BBC Panorama programme is planning a rehash of attacks mounted on UKIP by The Times newspaper.

Panorama is preparing to repeat allegations made by people hostile to UKIP, often dating back many years, in an apparent bid to try and halt UKIP's advance.

Mr Farage has written to Panorama boss Elizabeth Byrne refusing to cooperate with the programme because of its biased agenda and demanding that his letter is read out in full in any programme that is broadcast.

His letter also raises the prospect that it is rattled Labour activists who are now attempting to discredit UKIP, using the same techniques that flopped for the Tories and the Times in the run-up to the European elections.

Mr Farage's letter says:

"Dear Elizabeth, RE: Panorama Rehash of Times Campaign Against UKIP

"Thank you for your letter, the contents of which I have given careful consideration to and quite frankly are a rehash of a series of overtly hostile articles published in the Times during the run up to the May 2014 European Elections in which I hope you will note that over 4.3 million people voted for UKIP and we are now the biggest British party in the European Parliament.

"Having established that your line of questioning is in no way original or "fresh to the market", it is apparent from the tenor of your questions and the approach being taken by you that you are adopting a specific agenda which clearly conflicts with the well accepted BBC principles that a programme for public consumption should be fair and balanced.

"Regretfully, the concept of Panorama as judge and jury on (last century and ten-year-old) allegations which have been well dealt with by me in the past does not fulfill the BBC's charter obligations, or for that matter, its role.

"Accordingly, I can give you no further assistance and should point out to you that should you wish to proceed with this programme, I expect you to read out, without interruption, in full and without censorship, the entire contents of this letter.

"As you well know, our party is now in receipt of at least two new supporters for every ex-Conservative supporter and I wonder if it is your Labour contacts that have interested you in this project, which has previously been utilised by a panicking Conservative Party.

"A Panorama programme aimed at explaining the workings of the EU, as your Charter obliges you to do, would be far more beneficial to the British people than a tedious BBC hatchet job at the behest of your pro-EU contacts.

"Finally, if you fail to read out and place on screen this letter in any programme you choose to broadcast, this will be brought to the attention of the BBC governors and of course OFCOM.

"This letter is my final word on the matter so please do not continue the correspondence with me."

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