In just ten hours, over 30,000 people signed a petition calling on the BBC to exercise a measure of "fairness" and begin identifying David Cameron as "right-wing Prime Minister"—just as the news organization leads any mention of the newly-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with the "left-wing" descriptor.
"Every time Jeremy Corbyn is mentioned in a news report on the BBC he is referred to as 'the left-wing Labour Party leader,'" the petition states. "In the interest of fairness and un-biased reporting, David Cameron should also be referred to in terms of his place on the political spectrum—'the right-wing Prime Minister.'"
One signatory, Fred Robinson from Norwich, said he signed "because I don't want our Beeb to become Fox," adding that the left-wing preface is likely used as a smear "because the Tories have threatened [BBC] with massive cuts."
In a statement to the Independent, the BBC defended their use of the phrase: "Our journalists use descriptions of different political leanings to help the audience’s understanding or where there is a specific editorial justification. Mr. Corbyn was to the left of the other candidates and now he has been elected it is fair and accurate to say the Labour leadership is more to the left, or more 'left wing' than before. We do not use such labels in every instance, but we have taken a similar approach with the different political shades of other parties."
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With a staunchly anti-war and anti-austerity platform, Corbyn handily won the leadership position last weekend.
On Tuesday, Corbyn attended his first Prime Minister Question session, known as a PMQ, as Labour leader.
Ahead of the session, Corbyn said he wanted to eliminate the "yah-boo sucks theatrical politics" that have become a regular dynamic of these meetings, and instead "speak up for ordinary people over the country and the day-to-day problems they are facing in their lives." During the PMQ, Corbyn posed a series of crowd-sourced questions to the Prime Minister, which included comments about affordable housing, taxes, and mental health programs.
The new leader also ruffled some feathers early Tuesday when he opted-out of singing the national anthem "God Save the Queen" at the Battle of Britain memorial service in St Paul’s Cathedral.