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The BBC’s Very Selective Regret

Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph

You can safely bet that the BBC will never apologise for grotesque breaches of its legal obligation to report only with “accuracy and impartiality” when it comes to green energy.

The BBC last week won headlines for its “apology” that an interviewer on Radio Four’s Today programme had failed to challenge a rather reckless claim by Lord Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) that global temperatures in the past 10 years had “slightly declined”.

The BBC said that the interviewer’s failure to challenge this “false” claim had been in breach of its statutory duty to report with “accuracy and impartiality”. Next morning, Nick Robinson, Today’s interviewer, twice failed to challenge a claim by Ed Davey, the former energy minister, that the cost of electricity from offshore wind farms has recently been cut by “50 per cent”.

As I reported two weeks ago, this claim is so blatantly misleading that it has been made the subject of a complaint by the GWPF to the Advertising Standards Authority. As advertised by an alliance of green lobby groups and the owners of offshore wind farms, the “50 per cent cut” claim is based solely on figures for three such wind farms, none of them even yet built.

Even those figures show that their cost would still be more than double the current market rate for electricity. Indeed, official figures show that in three years’ time the subsidies we shall all be paying to offshore wind electricity will have more than doubled, from £1.5 billion a year to £3.1 billion.

But you could safely bet all that money that the BBC will never apologise for such a grotesque breach of its legal obligation to report only with “accuracy and impartiality”.

The Sunday Telegraph