1. The BBC has reprimanded a senior journalist for saying UKIP supporters are sexist and racist.
Jasmine Lawrence, assistant editor at the BBC News Channel, will play no part in the coverage of today’s European and local council elections after urging her Twitter followers to “stand up to white, middle class, middle aged men w/ sexist/racist views”.
The BBC said in a statement: “Jasmine Lawrence was tweeting from a personal account. She has been reminded of her responsibility to uphold BBC guidelines. She has deactivated her Twitter account and will now be playing no part in the BBC’s election coverage in coming days.”
Lawrence, who marshalled the rolling news channel’s coverage of the 2012 General Election, has now deleted her account.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has called for her to be fired.
2. The #WhyImVotingUKIP hashtag went viral this week in the run-up to today’s elections, with people suggesting both genuine and sarcastic reasons.
But this incident will be seen as highly embarassing for the BBC, which takes very seriously any allegation that its staff have a liberal bias.
A BBC-commissioned survey in 2011 found that many viewers “saw the BBC as being left-wing or liberal in its programming” while others complained of a lack of impartiality.