Monday, March 4

Trump speech magisterial and using Jerusalem as background music



The BBC has raised eyebrows for its lack of impartiality in describing John Bercow’s bid to stop Donald Trump speaking in Parliament as magisterial.

Current affairs programme Newsnight also set the Speaker of the Commons comments, in which he accused the US president of racisim and sexism, to the soundtrack of the patriotic hymn Jerusalem.

Ending Monday evening’s show with a clip of Mr Bercow’s speech, presenter Naga Munchetty said: He was asked about the prospect of Donald Trump addressing Parliament during his upcoming state visit. The Speaker’s response was typically magisterial.

Impartiality is supposed to be the cornerstone of the BBC’s news coverage, but viewers took to social media after the programme to describe the segment as bare faced bias.

However another viewer described the choice of music as perfectly fitting.

Mr Bercow’s comments have drawn criticism from government sources, who say he has breached the convention of the Speaker’s political neutrality.

He told MPs: We value our relationship with the United States. However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.

Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.

After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.

Earlier in the programme, Republican Congressman Joe Wilson described Mr Bercow’s stance as disappointing.

“If ever in recent years there’s been a more pro-British President of the United States, it’s Donald Trump,” he said.

I consider it too a slap to the Republican Party. It was the leaders of our party that actually placed the bust of Winston Churchill in the US Capitol Building and we urge all persons to come visit our Capitol Building.

They will be welcomed, but they will be particularly welcome to know that there is a bust of Winston Churchill in the US Capitol Building showing our great affection for the people of the United Kingdom.

Mr Trump returned the Churchill bust to the Oval Office after his inauguration.

But his invitation to make a state visit to the UK has prompted consternation in some quarters.

Over 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling for the US president’s state visit to be cancelled, because of the risk it would “embarrass” the Queen. Parliament will debate the petition on 20 February.

The Telegraph has approached the BBC for comment.