The BBC has admitted to making a “mistake” when it edited footage of audience reaction to Boris Johnson during the Question Time special.
The broadcasting corporation was caught in another editing scandal last week after the 1pm news altered reactions to show the audience clapping rather than laughing at a question on MP integrity.
It came just weeks after they used an old clip of Johnson at a cenotaph instead of one showing the Tory leader placing a poppy wreath upside down as the Queen watched.
Yet another editorial mistake? @BBCNews has edited out the audience laughing at Johnson when questioned on trust— James James (@Tingaling007) November 23, 2019
The first part is the actual footage, the second is from BBC News at 1pm today
Surley now we all clearly see this propaganda for what it is?pic.twitter.com/ZiVT8iUi0T
Now the broadcaster has admitted that was “a mistake on our part, as it didn’t reflect the full reaction to Boris Johnson’s answer”, but said it had no intention to mislead.
“This clip from the BBC’s Question Time special, which was played in full on the News at Ten on Friday evening and on other outlets, was shortened for timing reasons on Saturday’s lunchtime bulletin, to edit out a repetitious phrase from Boris Johnson,” a BBC statement said.
“However, in doing so we also edited out laughter from the audience.
“Although there was absolutely no intention to mislead, we accept this was a mistake on our part, as it didn’t reflect the full reaction to Boris Johnson’s answer.
“We did not alter the soundtrack or image in any way apart from this edit, contrary to some claims on social media.”
Mr Johnson was taking part in a Question Time special in Sheffield which featured the leaders of the four main political parties and was hosted by Fiona Bruce.
During the programme, in which each leader was quizzed for half an hour by audience members, the Prime Minister refused to apologise over his use of language and defended Tory austerity in the programme.
The Tory PM was asked to apologise and admit he had personally contributed to “racist rhetoric” during his journalistic work.
Ms Bruce challenged him for comparing veiled Muslim women to “letter boxes”, referring to “watermelon smiles” and “flag-waving piccaninnies” and to “tank-topped bum boys”.
Mr Johnson said he “genuinely never intended to cause hurt or pain to anybody and that is my intention”.
But the audience scoffed when he added: “If you go through all my articles with a fine-tooth comb and take out individual phrases, there is no doubt that you can find things that can be made to seem offensive and of course I understand that.”
Lying to us
One junior doctor accused him of “lying to us” as she challenged the Tories’ record on the NHS, while another voter questioned whether he could be trusted.
In his response, Mr Johnson was met with groans when he said the NHS’s demands could only be met when “we get Brexit done”.
He was also challenged over levels of child poverty and how many new hospitals the Tories were planning to build after the scheduled number dropped from 40 to six.
The other party leaders also faced a brutal televised grilling.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was pushed on whether or not he would pick a side during another referendum, while Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson had to deny she was treating voters as “stupid” over her plans to revoke Article 50.