CST ‘completely rejects’ BBC’s claim it confirmed anti-Muslim phrase used

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CST ‘completely rejects’ BBC’s claim it confirmed anti-Muslim phrase used

Community Security Trust reacted furiously to allegation made in findings of a BBC investigation over the Chanukah attack report

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The Community Security Trust has reacted furiously to claims made in the findings of an investigation into the BBC’s Chanukah bus reporting, that they were responsible for confirming the slur “dirty Muslims” could be heard in video footage of the incident.

In a statement, the CST said:””CST completely rejects the claim in today’s BBC report that CST confirmed to the BBC on 2nd December that an anti-Muslim phrase had been spoken on the Chabad bus that was attacked on Oxford Street.

“The BBC’s claim is a completely misleading representation of the exchanges between the BBC and CST on that day. CST informed the BBC of this before today’s report was published but they have gone ahead anyway. Their behaviour is appalling and deeply damaging.”

In their findings, the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit said a BBC London News reporter had put the claim that one of the passenger, who was subjected to antisemitic threats by a group of men on Oxford Street, could be heard using the slur “Dirty Muslims.”

The ECU report confirmed:”The claim was put by the reporter in the television item to the representative of the CST with whom he had been dealing, who replied (in a WhatsApp exchange which the ECU has seen) in terms which the BBC took as confirmation that the phrase in question had been spoken.”

But later, confirming they had spoken to the BBC London News presenter, CST tweeted a lengthy thread outlining their anger at the claims in the findings.

They wrote:”CST was not asked for any such confirmation by the BBC and was in no position to provide any confirmation: we had no prior knowledge of the allegation and had not sought to confirm it with any of the witnesses or victims at that point.

“Instead, a BBC journalist who had already been in contact with CST over the incident phoned to tell us that (a) an anti-Muslim slur was audible and (b) the BBC was going to include it in their report. He was definite on both points.

“CST replied in a WhatsApp to argue that the alleged slur, even if true, was irrelevant to the dynamic of how the incident occurred and should not be reported. We were in no position to confirm (or not) whether the now much-disputed phrase in question had been spoken.”

The BBC said:“We have seen the comments by the CST. We will engage and discuss the issues they have raised.

“More broadly, we note that Ofcom has said that they will look into the reporting of the incident.”

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