Bias claim

BBC host off air after ‘glee’ at Johnson news

Martine Croxall: off air

BBC News presenter Martine Croxall has been taken off air after she appeared to celebrate the news that Boris Johnson had pulled out of the Tory leadership race.

As an announcement was made during Sunday night’s edition of The Papers, which was hosted by Ms Croxall, she told viewers: “Well this is all very exciting isn’t it?”

She continued: “Am I allowed to be this gleeful? Well I am.”

In her first question to her guests, The Daily Telegraph’s Camilla Turner and fellow journalist Tony Grew, she also remarked: “Can we even show you the front pages just yet, have they arrived? No they haven’t arrived. It’s all a little bit, you know, isn’t it? Because all the front pages were probably out of date by the time we received them.”

Ms roxall could be heard laughing after Mr Grew suggested that the former prime minister “believed he should be world king”.

He continued: “Of course he thinks he is best placed to win an election in 2024. He probably thinks he is best placed to win the American election in 2024.”

During the exchange, Grew apologises for making Croxall laugh. In response, she said: “I shouldn’t probably [laugh]. I’m probably breaking some terrible due impartiality rule by giggling.”

Viewers bombarded the BBC with complaints, alleging bias and improper behaviour as they claimed that Ms Croxall’s conduct had breached BBC rules. A number of Tory MPs also complained on social media that her remarks displayed bias.

Nadine Dorries, Mr Johnson’s former culture secretary, said on Twitter: “This lack of impartiality demonstrates how deep-seated the bias is.”

Some viewers were more sympathetic to the host, with one tweeting: “I loved how excited you were at the beginning of the 10.30 paper review.”

Ms Croxall responded: “Days like this make great paper reviews.”

A statement from the BBC said: “BBC News is urgently reviewing last night’s edition of The Papers on the News Channel for a potential breach of impartiality. It is imperative that we maintain the highest editorial standards. We have processes in place to uphold our standards, and these processes have been activated.”

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