Apology to MP after BBC misrepresented meeting

Andrew Tyrie
Andrew Tyrie

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THE BBC broadcasted an apology to Chichester’s Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie for using footage that gave a ‘misleading impression’ that he had been silenced by Downing Street.

Scenes showing Steve Hilton, one of David Cameron’s most senior advisers, apparently leading the chairman of the Treasury select committee off for a private discussion following criticism he had made of the Government’s growth strategy were broadcast during the Tory party conference.

After that talk, Mr Tyrie appeared to have a change of heart on the economy, saying he was greatly encouraged by what he had heard in a speech by George Osborne.

A BBC correspondent reported that he had been given a ‘talking to’ prior to giving televised interviews about the Chancellor’s address and footage was shown of Mr Hilton putting his arm round Mr Tyrie and taking him off for a talk.

But the corporation did not make clear that Mr Tyrie had already told its journalists that his opinions on growth had changed before the incident with Mr Hilton had taken place.

An on-air apology by presenter Huw Edwards for giving the impression the Chichester MP had been influenced by officials was made during the 5pm bulletin on the BBC News Channel yesterday.

Mr Tyrie accepted the apology and attempted to draw a line under the incident.

He said: ‘I am extremely grateful to the BBC, and for doing this without needing to make a formal complaint.

‘It has accepted that it made a mistake – we all make them – and apologised. As far as I’m concerned that is an end of the matter.’