1. As Amol Rajan deletes his offending tweet, our complaint goes to Stage 2
2. BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan’s offensive “Scum” and “Idiots” tweets. Our complaint goes to the next stage
3. The BBC defends Amol Rajan, a senior employee, who was abusive, and may have defamed Paul Cardin
Below is our full complaint which has just been emailed to email@example.com:
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.
According to a BBC News article, Mr Rajan, along with three colleagues will be attending UK schools this year advising them on “fake news” and how to recognise it
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:
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Any more from the BBC? The last 4 weeks has seen the BBC at its worst I can ever remember. I continue to complain about “Ken Livingstone is antisemitic” and misquoting him over and over. They still have not acknowledged that the charge of A/S was dropped. Because the Labour Party didn’t have any evidence of A/S. yet still they use it. Laura’s article “Corbyn wouldn’t allow police to shoot terrorists” although totally fabricated. Was stil used during GE and Laura linked the article in an updated smear leading to the Corbyn/Osama backdrop on daily politics.
Now. Corbyn comments “you are in good company” in ref to mural being removed and we have a shit storm from PLP lining up with known racists from Tory party. That innocent comment, given the Artists clear statement of his intent. Has now morphed into Alan Sugar proudly declaring Corbyn as a Nazi. As for Christine and Alan Bulls confidential case notes being leaked and published. After the McNicols reign of suspend and vilify. Without due process, any regard for the law and now turning up to court to declare he wasn’t going allow any details of the case which caused the suspension of labour members to feature in the court proceedings. And concocting a case against Tony that he had called an MP a supporter of child abuse.
A few episodes of Newsnight featuring honest investigative journalism would end this fiasco overnight. It’s an incredibly dangerous position that May has put U.K. in. BBC are not fit for purpose. I can’t name one journalist or presenter that would meet the NUJ code of conduct
Leslie, thank you for your comment. We’re still waiting for the BBC to send us their decision on this. It should really be here this week or next. If it fails, the next port of call will be OFCOM.
We agree totally with every point you’ve raised here. The world has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Social Media is now making huge inroads and exposing the failings. We don’t think the old school journalists and broadcasters are going anywhere without a fight.
But what we find so disappointing is that they are resorting to dirty tactics, #FakeNews and rampant dishonesty. It’s all around us. Anything to rid themselves of Corbyn,protect the crooked status quo and destroy our resurgent hopes and dreams.
We don’t want to be too negative but the recent Tory decision on shelving Leveson II is a huge lost opportunity to resolve the mess, and it seems the only way is down from here !
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I have also complained about Amol Rajan. I could not quite believe he had been recruited by the BBC after the articles he used to publish in the Evening Standard in which he frequently managed to blame “old people” for whatever it was that he was writing about that day. He clearly hated old people but in spite of the fact that ageism is as illegal as racism, or indeed any other sort of “ism, there are of course, no effective controls over the Media. That is why the BBC can get away with taking complaints such as yours so lightly.
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