Ken Loach, the veteran British filmmaker whose most recent release I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2016, has criticised the UK’s state-run broadcaster BBC as being “disgusting” and “unbelievable” in what he perceives to be a strong political bias towards the conservative party ahead of the upcoming general election.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Loach said:
“I think it calls into question the fairness of the election. If you can’t have a free and balanced press, I don’t think you can have a free election.”
Loach, who was openly criticised by members of the UK’s right-wing Conservative party for his presentation of poverty brought about by state sanctions in I, Daniel Blake, as well as for his passionate leftist acceptance speech at the British Academy Film Awards upon winning Best British Film, has called out the BBC for what he perceives to be an ongoing smear campaign against the conservative government’s most popular opposition, the Labour party, and particularly the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“The press and the broadcasters really do everything to denigrate him. I think the one thing that emerges is the bias of the press, particularly of the BBC, which is in such a very special position. It’s disgusting…unbelievable. And they’ve really got to be called into question.”
The BBC’s current political editor, Laura Keunssberg, was recently found guilty by the BBC Trust to have inaccurately reported Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s views on shoot-to-kill policies in November 2015 and has repeatedly come under fire for what many perceive to be unsympathetic presentations of the opposition leader.
Loach also openly criticised the reporting of the BBC’s former political editor and current host of the BBC’s political discussion radio broadcast, Today, Nick Robinson for his political bias, too, after the reporter made headlines with the following tweet, posted in April:
No-one should be surprised that @jeremycorbyn is running v the “Establishment” & is long on passion & short on details. Story of his life
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) April 20, 2017
Loach said of the reporter:
“He’s a Tory! He was chair of the Young Conservatives at Oxford University.”
Loach’s criticisms come at a key time in politics for the UK, with the upcoming election said to be key to successfully implementing the ideologies of any given party’s approaches to exiting the European Union, negotiating business ties and managing publicly run organisations and foundations.