Who has the ear of ‘senior BBC executives’?

Here is a picture taken in London in 2011:

Third from the left, holding the oversized ‘key’, is Hugh Lanning of the Public & Commercial Services Union and chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. On the far left, wearing the ‘end the siege on Gaza’ scarf is former flotilla participant and Global March to Jerusalem organiser Sarah Colborne – also of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. In the middle, reading out loud, is Alexei Sayle and beside him Jenny Tonge – both patrons of the PSC. 

Between Lanning and Colborne stands Zaher Birawi – a known Hamas operative in the UK with connections to ‘Viva Palestina’, the Muslim Association of Britain, the Palestinian Return Centre, the Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Global March to Jerusalem. On the far right stands Mohammed Sawalha – also a known Hamas operative in the UK and connected to the ECESG, the British Muslim Initiative, the Global March to Jerusalem and the Muslim Association of Britain. 

Here is another picture, taken in the Gaza Strip in June 2012.

Second from the right, wearing a check shirt, is Hugh Lanning and fifth from the right is Sarah Colborne. As we see, Sawalha and Birawi are also present (next to Lanning and fifth from the left respectively), as is Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. To Birawi’s right we see Mohammed Kozbar of the Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Global March to Jerusalem

The occasion at which this group photo was taken was the arrival in Gaza of a ‘Miles of Smiles’ convoy (in which Lanning and Colborne participated) organized by ‘Interpal’ – which was the subject of a BBC ‘Panorama‘ documentary in 2006 and subsequent investigation by the Charity Commission.

The BBC’s own website describes the Palestine Solidarity Campaign as a “radical” organization:

“Sheikh Salah’s supporters in Britain include the radical Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which has promoted an annual march attended by supporters of the Iranian Hezbollah group and Hamas and which has also given a platform to the extremist Hizb ut-Tahrir group.”

In other words, the BBC is well aware of the PSC’s connections to Al Quds Day and should also know about its members’ involvement in various anti-Israel publicity stunts such as road trips, flotillas and flytillas.

So what does Hugh Lanning get up to when he is not brandishing a pantomime key and keffiyah in Downing Street or exchanging small talk with senior Hamas operatives in Gaza? Well, chats with “senior BBC executives” about their corporation’s ‘pro-Israel bias’, apparently.

Of course one presumes that – in the interests of transparency – the BBC will take care to inform those licence fee-payers with somewhat less of an open channel to BBC senior management about the outcome of its tête-à-tête with a representative of supporters and enablers of a terrorist organization designated by the British government. 

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