The BBC has been accused of ‘caving in’ to climate change lobbyists after apologising for an interview with global warning sceptic Lord Lawson.
The former Tory Chancellor inaccurately claimed in an August episode of the Today Programme that global temperatures have ‘slightly declined’ over the last decade.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation that he launched corrected his error a few days later and – after widespread criticism – the BBC admitted the episode broke its rules on accuracy. However, Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF yesterday accused it going overboard in its apology.
He said: ‘If the BBC had to apologise every time one of their interviewees said something inaccurate, they would have to close the whole shop. They are completely obsessed with the green agenda and hardly ever have a dissenting voice … and now they have essentially caved to the bullying tactics of the green campaign.’
The Today Programme had initially defended Lord Lawson’s remarks, saying it was important to provide balance by airing ‘dissenting voices’. However, senior BBC bosses eventually stepped in, saying his arguments ‘were, at least, contestable and should have been challenged’.
Mr Peiser’s views were echoed by freedom of speech advocates. Frank Furedi, a sociologists at the University of Kent, said: ‘If every time you make a mistake you are forced to make an apology in this way it undermines and distorts debate.’