UK & World News
Tory Cabinet Minister Accuses BBC Of Bias
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has lodged a formal complaint to the BBC, claiming its coverage of the Government is biased.
The former Tory leader attacked what he described as the corporation's "carping and moaning" and criticised its economics editor Stephanie Flanders.
He claimed Ms Flanders' coverage of the latest unemployment figures earlier this week showed a pro-Labour bias, and accused her of "peeing all over British industry".
BBC officials fiercely defended the organisation's record of impartiality and Ms Flanders' reporting.
But Mr Duncan Smith claims the the broadcaster diminishes the role of the Government in good news stories and "dumps" on it when the story is bad.
"The BBC is locked to the reading of the economy that is run out of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls' office," the Cabinet minister told the Mail on Sunday.
"They think if only you spend and borrow more money you can create growth everywhere."
"This is the general tenor of everything that comes out of the BBC. They expected the (employment) figures to be flatlining.
"They convinced themselves youth unemployment would continue to rise, but when it fell they were in a complete quandary.
"Stephanie Flanders poured cold water over the whole thing. She said: 'Of course this is good news, but it could be because we aren't productive enough'."
The jobless total fell by 46,000 in the quarter to June to 2.56m - its lowest level for a year.
Mr Duncan Smith continued: "If the unemployment figures had gone up, we would have been on the BBC TV News at Six and Ten and would have got the blame."
He added: "When the news is good, the BBC view is 'Get the Government out of the picture quickly, don't allow them to say anything about it'.
"When the news is bad, (it's) 'Let's all dump on the Government'. Last month, there was a marginal rise in youth unemployment so they centred on that.
"This time it came down so they cast doubt on the figures. (Flanders) said it could be industry is so bad they have to take on two people where one person could do the job.
"She was peeing all over British industry and the private sector. It was terrible. Our private industry is unbelievably robust compared to much of Europe."
A BBC spokeswoman said: "BBC News is confident our coverage of this story was impartial, fair and balanced, reflecting a wide range of views. Indeed Mr Duncan Smith expressed his position on several BBC outlets.
"Stephanie interrogated numerous aspects of the figures in her analysis. She echoed questions raised by many experts, including the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, as well as noting the rise in the number of people in work was good news."
A Department of Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: "The department made a complaint regarding the coverage of the employment figures on the Six O'Clock News and News at 10. The Secretary of State has made his views clear in the Mail on Sunday."