Tory minister accuses Art Attack host of ‘bias’ in weird on-air blunder

A Tory minister has been savaged after accusing the BBC of being biased – and naming the presenter of Art Attack in an on-air blunder.

Huw Merriman referred to as bafflement when he lashed out at reporting of welfare adjustments by Neil Buchanan – who was a children’ TV favorite for years internet hosting the well-known artwork present. And the minister additionally whined {that a} comedy present he listened to in his automotive was an anti-Tory “diatribe”.

Mr Merriman, the newest Conservative determine to criticise the company, was pressed to present an instance of biased reporting. First he rattled on a couple of radio present he did not discover humorous earlier than launching his puzzling assault on Mr Buchanan.

He mentioned: “So when I worked at the Department of Work and Pensions doing work on Universal Credit there was an individual there who would report on it, Neil Buchanan, who I always felt gave one side of the story and not the other side, which was the government side.”

Tory minister Huw Merriman came unstuck when lashing out at the BBC
Tory minister Huw Merriman got here unstuck when lashing out on the BBC

Mr Merriman seems to have confused the Art Attack presenter with BBC Social Affairs Correspondent Michael Buchanan who has reported on the rollout of Universal Credit.

The excruciating second got here after he was challenged by Kay Burley to present examples of bias towards the BBC. First he tried to level to fashionable present The News Quiz. He mentioned: “Let me give you an example, I know that you were searching for them yesterday. I was listening to the News Quiz, which is on Radio 4 at 6.30pm on Friday when I was driving to my constituency office.

“For 10 minutes all I heard, and it wasn’t satirical, it was simply diatribe towards Conservatives, not the federal government. And I did hearken to that and suppose ‘for goodness sake, the place’s the stability in that? So sure, I’m afraid to say regardless of the very fact I’ve all the time been an enormous supporter of the BBC, that struck me as utterly biased.”

Mr Merriman appears to have it in for Art Attack host Neil Buchanan
Mr Merriman seems to have it in for Art Attack host Neil Buchanan
Getty Images)

An unimpressed Ms Burley responded: “You understand that the News Quiz is comedy and nothing to do with actual news.” Mr Merriman struggled on, saying: “I love it when politicians get lampooned. But that was the whole point. There wasn’t actually anything in that particular regard, which struck me as being sort of amusing. ”

It comes after Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer claimed there was a “perception” of bias among the many public. When Ms Burley identified this is not proof, she mentioned: “That is evidence. Impartiality is about perception of the things that are being broadcast by the BBC, and the evidence in relation to that perception is that …”

Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire wrote on Twitter: “Just the latest in a long line of secretaries of state for culture wars.”

No10 was yesterday pressured to disclaim it was pursuing an agenda towards the BBC. Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman, requested if this was the case, responded: “No. This is rightly about ensuring the BBC is able to continue to thrive long into the future.”

The Mirror has contacted the BBC for remark.