19:49 GMT18 February 2020
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    The news surfaces at a times when Brexit-endorsing politicians, namely former UKIP leader and now Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, have railed against the British broadcasting giant over what they argue is an endemic bias against the UK leaving the EU.

    The BBC received payments worth around £3 million from the European Commission between the years 2017 and 2018, according to damning revelations by the Daily Express.

    The BBC has long been accused of slanting toward the pro-Remain side of the Brexit debate, but for many, the Express' expose is likely to confirm that allegation as fact.

    According to the British newspaper, the BBC's international development charity called ‘Media Action' was stuffed with £2.7 million worth of EU Commission funds and £400,000 worth from the Council of Europe in fiscal year 2017-18.

    ​After acknowledging that the British broadcaster had indeed received the funds, a spokesman for BBC Media Action has been quoted as claiming that, "this funding has gone to programmes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, North Africa, South Sudan and Ukraine."

    "BBC Media Action is an independent charity which is not funded from the BBC licensing fee," the spokesman reportedly added.

    Yet, the Express was quick to throw claims of impartiality into doubt, noting that, "even though the charity claims to be fully independent from the state broadcaster, its board members are not only nominated by the BBC but its chair, Fran Unsworth, is the Director of News & Current Affairs for BBC News. Before then she served in various senior positions in the BBC, including director of the BBC World Service Group."

    Moreover, it has not been made entirely clear exactly what the funding will be used for in the countries named by the Media Action spokesman.

    This does not mark the first time that the BBC has been accused of possible bias for receiving EU funds. Back in 2015, another British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, revealed that BBC Media Action was handed a generous £9.3 million of EU money between fiscal years 2011 — 2014. At the time, EU officials were reported to have described the whopping payout as part of a "political strategy" meant to bolster the "prosperity, stability and security of Europe's neighbourhood in order to avoid any dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its direct neighbours".

    A number of MPs have tried to alert the public as to the danger posed to the BBC's impartiality if it goes on receiving payments from the EU. Despite those efforts, it seems that the shady conduct continues unabated.

    Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, Andrew Bridgen, was quoted back in 2015 as saying that, "the BBC's pet charity may well be doing good work but I am concerned that it is taking EU money to do Brussels' bidding and to promote pro-European propaganda."

    The latest revelations by the Express come hot on the heels of an attack on the BBC by Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, who made his own allegations of Pro-EU bias against the broadcasting giant.

    In response to a question by a BBC journalist at a press conference on Tuesday, May 7, Mr Farage said, "well, it is very very nice to see the BBC here, I must say, no it really is. I have been all over the country speaking at big rallies with a couple of thousand people at most of them, we haven't seen the BBC at any of them. So it is jolly nice that you have made the effort to come."    

    Yet, notwithstanding the above, there are still those who see the BBC as unwaveringly pro-Brexit.

     

    Tags:
    BBC Bias, Propaganda, European Commission, European Union, EU, United Kingdom, Brussels
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