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BBC’s Question Time accused of keeping people in the dark about Welsh politics

21 Dec 2018 2 minute read
David Dimbleby has just stepped down as the host of Question Time. Picture by the BBC

The BBC has been accused of keeping people in the dark about Welsh politics after it emerged that none of the next 14 episodes of Question Time will be filmed here.

All episodes will be filmed in England, apart from one which will be filmed in Scotland.

It comes after the Welsh Assembly’s Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, wrote to the BBC yesterday asking why a key vote in the Assembly was barely covered by their news services.

A vote by the Scottish Parliament to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal was given greater prominence while the same vote in the Welsh Assembly was almost ignored, she said.

Writing to BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies and director general Tony Hall, she said: “This was one of the most significant votes in the history of the Senedd and the absence of any real reflection of this fact on that day on Wales Today and Newyddion 9 was disappointing.

“By contrast, BBC Scotland’s output the following day was dominated by Scottish Parliament’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Responding to the news that Question Time would not be visiting Wales, Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake said they were perpetuating a democratic deficit in Wales.

“Sadly we cannot expect anything less from a media that struggles represent anything outside the M25,” he said.

“Welsh life and politics continue to be an afterthought to the BBC. This is not just about a fair showing for all the nations, but a healthy democracy.

“Without a representative media, people are being deprived of the tools to understand and hold to account the politicians they elect.

“Love it or loathe it, BBC Question Time plays an important part in the news agenda. By failing to have a single show in Wales they are perpetuating a democratic deficit.

“A new chair was an opportunity for a change of direction. Disappointingly, it looks like the London-centric media will continue to ignore the voices of the nations.

“If the BBC is to live up to its mantle of the national broadcaster, it must represent all of the nations.”

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