Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
21 March 2017, 11:53
O'Brien's Advice For Tory MPs Unhappy With BBC's Brexit "Bias"
As more than 70 Tory MPs complain about the BBC's coverage of Brexit, James has a blistering reaction - and some advice.
72 MPs have sent a letter to the BBC accusing it of anti-Brexit bias since the referendum. James O'Brien has a much better idea for them than writing letters like that...
In a compelling monologue during today's show, James reacted to listeners who had texted in, asking for his thoughts on the MPs' letter. It claims that the BBC is "unfairly representing" Leave voters as regretting their decision, even saying its future is at threat if it is seen as providing "skewed" coverage and analysis.
The vast majority of MPs who signed it are Conservatives, with three Labour MPs also putting their names to it.
"If these Conservative MPs are worried that the confusion and regret being reported in all of the media needs to be addressed or balanced out with clarity and confidence, it's straightforward.
"You get Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson to accept all the invitations, including a permanent one to come on this programme...and explain to people the clarity and confidence you believe is lacking.
"Don't send letters. Don't send letters complaining about reports that reflect regret and confusion.
"Send out the key Brexiters, send out the key ministers, send out the secretaries of state who can challenge this confusion and regret. Who can provide clarity and confidence.
"The answer is not to tell the people reporting it to be quiet, that's a terrifying path to go down.
"The answer is to come forward with the opposing arguments. So my phone lines are open Boris."
James then tackled two big Brexit stories today that suggested the price of an average car and a pint of beer could be set to rise.
"My phone lines are open for Liam Fox to ring in and explain why that's not a problem.
"Otherwise, when you report stuff like that and it looks like bad news, and they can't provide any clarity or confidence...they've got two choices: either they shut up - or they insist that everybody else does."
"Provide clarity and confidence because if you can't provide clarity and confidence, then the reports that reflect regret and conclusion aren't just important.