BBC Scotland fails to disclose a contributor’s affiliations in three reports

On the evening of January 13th two related reports appeared in the ‘updates’ section of the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page as well as on its ‘Scotland’ page:

Filmed: ‘Yemen strikes ’embolden’ extremists – ex-ambassador

“The UK’s former ambassador to Yemen has warned airstrikes targeting Houthi rebels in the country played “right into extremist hands”.

Frances Guy also said Britain’s priority should be pursuing a ceasefire in Gaza. […]”

Written: ‘Yemen strikes ’embolden’ extremists – former ambassador

In that article by BBC Scotland, readers are told that:

“The UK’s former ambassador to Yemen has warned airstrikes targeting Houthi rebels in the country played “right into extremist hands”.

Frances Guy also said Britain’s priority should be pursuing a ceasefire in Gaza. […]

More than 60 targets were hit by the first wave of strikes backed by UK and US allies.

Further US action was carried out on Saturday, but Ms Guy – who served as UK ambassador to the country between 2001 and 2004 – said it would only “embolden” sympathisers of the group.

The former diplomat said: “They have been responding in a way that has been exactly what extremists would like because it makes it easy for the Arab street to be very anti-American and anti-British and the military action itself doesn’t achieve very much.

“The more of this kind of attack happens, the more sympathisers there are around the world with those who they see as oppressed by American and British action.”

Ms Guy told BBC Scotland News the Houthis were wrong to hit international shipping and said it was a “reasonable response” to target missiles aimed at vessels.

But she added: “Sending missiles into Yemen and getting five million Yemenis in the street shouting against America doesn’t feel very productive.””

The report includes the following image:

As has been the case in the past, readers are not informed that the banners in that picture show the slogan used by the Houthis for at least two decades -“God Is the Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, A Curse Upon the Jews, Victory to Islam” – and that there is nothing remotely novel about “Yeminis in the street shouting against America”.

The BBC’s report also states:

“Ms Guy urged the UK and US governments to “call their bluff” or risk worsening the humanitarian crises in Yemen and Gaza.

She said: “America and Britain are seen in Yemen as friends of Israel because our governments have stood out very strongly saying that and are not talking enough about the humanitarian horrors that are going on in Gaza and are now risked in Yemen.

“I don’t think it is possible to disentangle the two conflicts. I do think ceasefire is at the heart of this.

“The immediate easiest riposte is to have an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, not least because we seem to have lost sight of the fact there is incredible humanitarian suffering going on in Gaza every day and the most important thing to do right now is to put an end to that suffering.””

Readers are not told that “an immediate ceasefire” would enable the continued existence of the Hamas terrorist organisation that initiated the current war by perpetrating the massacre of October 7 (which, notably, is not even mentioned in either of these reports) and which has clearly stated its intention to repeat such atrocities.  

In the filmed report Guy says:

Frances Guy: “The only solution is an immediate ceasefire. And whilst we’re all very hopeless and helpless to some extent, perhaps amongst the things that anyone can do is to go out and protest and demonstrate that actually we all still care about what’s going on in Gaza.”

The filmed report does not clarify to viewers that Frances Guy was speaking to the BBC while participating in just such a demonstration. Another BBC Scotland report published on January 14th – ‘Stephen Flynn fears ‘wider regional crisis’ after Yemen air strikes’ – promotes the same filmed report, again without clarification concerning the event at which it was filmed:

In the written report readers find the following:

“Ms Guy spoke to BBC Scotland News while attending a Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration in Edinburgh.”

And:

“Ms Guy was among hundreds of protesters who gathered in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Saturday to demand a pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstrations events were also held in Aberdeen, Dundee, Dumfries and Orkney.”

BBC Scotland did not provide readers with any information about the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and its long record of anti-Israel campaigning that has also included antisemitism and support for terrorism.

Despite featuring Frances Guy in three separate items of content published within less than 24 hours, BBC Scotland did not bother to inform audiences of that contributor’s affiliations as required under BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality.

Ms Guy was indeed the UK ambassador to Yemen between 2001 and 2004 and later became the UK ambassador to Lebanon. During that posting she was “made to apologise” – as the BBC put it in 2010 – for eulogising a Hizballah founding cleric who was designated as a terrorist by the US.

Frances Guy later became the head of the Middle East region for Christian Aid and during her tenure the NGO’s activities included the following:

“In May 2016, released a video titled “Christian Aid’s work in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.” The video presents misleading and false information about the security barrier and water usage in the West Bank, and adopts a Palestinian narrative of the conflict.

Co-signed an August 2015 campaign, calling on world leaders “to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza,” while altogether omitting that the blockade was implemented in an effort to stop Palestinian terrorists from smuggling of weapons and rockets into Gaza that would later be used to target Israeli civilians.”

Currently the chief executive at Scotland’s International Development Alliance (which includes organisations such as Islamic Relief and Oxfam), Ms Guy is also a trustee at the Balfour Project.

While it may therefore come as no surprise to find Frances Guy participating in yet another SPSC organised anti-Israel demonstration in Edinburgh, the presentation of this contributor solely as a former UK ambassador to Yemen clearly does not provide BBC audiences with the full information about her “affiliations and particular viewpoints” necessary for proper understanding of her amply – and exclusively – promoted statements.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Grimey

    As correctly predicted by Grimey, the BBC is swiftly coming to the support of the brave Houthis in their Islamic right to kill all infidels.

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