Below is our full complaint which has just been emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Complaint No. CAS-4800223-89YKDY
Dear Executive Complaints Unit,
Complaint Summary: There was a breach of BBC standards
Subsequent to my initial complaint (below), I am not happy with the BBC’s response to Stage 1b of the Complaints Process. I have checked the BBC Social Media Guidance, the Editorial Guidance and Editorial Standards and believe that the comment made quite deliberately by Amol Rajan in which he referred to third parties as “idiots” and “scum” was abusive and offensive both to me and to members of the public. I was personally offended because I had been copied into the tweet (now deleted). However, there will be an even higher bar raised on standards of behaviour for a senior media editor such as Mr Rajan. His actions were therefore highly inappropriate and breached several areas of the BBC’s code of conduct. I also believe it was wrong and misguided for your employee Yvonne Wall, in dealing with the initial complaint, to characterise the offending statement as part of a “light-hearted exchange” when it was patently not. I also believe that the explanatory statement, “no offence was intended”, reiterated by Ciaran Hannah, is insufficient, and does not mitigate to any degree the offence that was caused.
If I do not receive a satisfactory response from the BBC Executive Complaints Unit, I will be taking this complaint to OFCOM. I am aware at this point that this matter involves unfairness to me, and as such, I am at liberty to defer to OFCOM immediately. However, I will pause, exhaust your internal processes and allow the Executive Complaint Unit to reconsider. There is still a possibility that you may reach the right decision, in accordance with your own stated policies.
My initial complaint centred around a tweet sent by @amolrajan to @MichaelWhite which copied me in (personal twitter ID redacted accordingly):
The subject matter of the tweet is the blocking on Twitter of “scum” and the ‘liberation’ gained by this activity. I am now blocked by BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan, however the matter of being blocked does not form part of my complaint. My complaint refers to how this recently promoted senior BBC public servant thought it appropriate to use language on a public forum which was offensive not just to me, but which would also be likely to offend any licence fee paying member of the public reading the tweet.
There was a further reference to “idiots” posted by Amol Rajan:
Background. Please follow the links contained to gain access to the relevant information.
In the past I have sent Mr Rajan an official, factual Merseyside Police statement which confirms that Angela Eagle’s constituency office window was never reported as being attacked on 12th July 2016 in the #Brickgate incident. I have suggested to Mr Rajan that the BBC needs to retract its own “fake news” which is still ‘out there’ and which spuriously suggests that Angela Eagle’s constituency office window WAS smashed by a brick. This appears to be a very clear lapse in editorial standards at the BBC. My daughter attends a Media College and it is possible that Mr Rajan or one of his colleagues may be visiting either in person or online to advise her on “fake news” this year. In light of the above failure and breach of standards, I suggest that Mr Rajan is not a fit person to do so until he has received some training (see below). I also request a personal apology.
- I politely request an apology in writing or in a phone call from Mr Rajan.
- I politely request that before being permitted to make any school or sixth form visit or connect with schools and sixth forms online, Mr Rajan undertakes urgent training centred around acceptable language – both written and spoken – to be used when dealing with children, members of the public and licence fee payers, and which meets the requirements of the BBC’s standards and codes of conduct.
- I politely request that the BBC inspects its public archives and corrects ALL spurious, non-factual items referring to #Brickgate i.e. the ‘brick’ that smashed a shared stairwell window on 11th / 12th July 2016 in line with the Merseyside Police statement linked to above. This official statement to the Information Commissioner’s Office finally clarified that Angela Eagle’s constituency office window was in truth never attacked or broken. Amol Rajan has repeatedly refused to engage with me when I have asked him to put the BBC’s house in order with regards to this item of fake news.
BBC response, received on 9th March 2018: