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BBC Debate controversy: 2 members of public suspended by employers, 1 “gives context”

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19 June 2019 | UK NEWS

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Questions from the public were a highlight of the BBC Leadership Debate last night, however the BBC have come under heavy scrutiny over the vetting of the people they chose as two people who asked questions are suspended from their jobs respectively. Disclaimer: Wolves will only be reporting the facts as they are uncovered.

Abdullah, the Imam from Bristol, had his Twitter account looked over by news website Guido Fawkes and allegedly anti-Semitic Tweets were uncovered. The Tweets and media spotlight this morning has led to Abdullah being suspended from his job as Deputy Head of a primary school in Gloucestershire and being Imam from his Mosque.

Muslim Leadership Candidate Sajid Javid MP has just Tweeted about Abdullah:

Image: Guido Fawkes

Meanwhile the last guest to ask questions, Aman Thaker, has had his Twitter posts reviewed and the revelation that he worked for the Labour Party have raised questions over the vetting and bias of the BBC. He was appointed to work on the internal investigation into Labour anti-Semitism.
Henry Zeffman from the Times states the BBC have admitted that they did know Aman worked for the Labour Party, but they did not tell the 5 million viewers who watched the debate.

Aman Tweeted that he was a nationalist, and Hitler’s most harmful part of his legacy was “abuse of the term nationalist”. He has now locked down his Twitter account.

He too has been suspended from his job at Leigh Day solicitors.

A Leigh Day spokesman said: “We can confirm that Aman Thakar is currently a solicitor at Leigh Day in our employment department. We have been made aware of a tweet which we are taking very seriously.

“Mr Thakar has been suspended with immediate effect from the firm whilst we carry out an internal investigation into these matters.”

Aman “gives context” on his Tweets:

The BBC, from different accounts, has reacted to the news:

After the Imam appeared on BBC 5 Live radio this morning, radio presenter Nicky Campbell Tweeted this:

A BBC spokesman later in the day said: “A background in politics doesn’t disqualify anyone from taking part in a debate show. Last night’s questioners held a range of political views and we did not specify these views nor their backgrounds although some chose to do so themselves.

“The last questioner on the debate is a solicitor who was seconded by his law firm to the Labour Party in the past, rather than being a Labour ‘staffer’. He is a Labour supporter and once stood as a councillor.”

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