- The Washington Times - Friday, November 29, 2019

The BBC complained after video footage of its presenters appeared in a political advertisement that the U.K. Conservative Party paid to run on Facebook starting Thursday.

“We’re aware of Conservative Party Facebook adverts using edited BBC content,” the publicly-funded broadcaster said in a statement. “This is a completely unacceptable use of BBC content which distorts our output and which could damage perceptions of our impartiality. We are asking the Conservatives to remove these adverts.”

Purchased by the party’s official Facebook page, the ads feature a 15-second video that includes a montage of BBC reporters speaking about a “pointless delay to Brexit” and “another Brexit delay,” referring to ongoing efforts within the U.K. Parliament to follow through with leaving the European Union.


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“Stop the chaos in Parliament,” reads a message displayed at the end of the video. “Get Brexit done. Vote Conservative.”

The Conservative Party has since defended the ad, which has been viewed on Facebook more than 150,000 times as of Friday, according to the social network’s own statistics. The ad debuted two weeks before Britons head to the polls to elect a new Parliament on Dec. 12.



“This video uses contemporary news footage to remind voters of the deadlock and delay of the last three years caused by a broken Parliament that did everything it could to block Brexit,” explained a spokesperson for the Conservative Party, the BBC reported.

“Viewers can judge for themselves but it is clear the footage was not edited in a manner that misleads or changes the reporting,” said the Conservative Party spokesperson, according to the outlet.

The BBC is primarily funded through a license fee paid by British households and bills itself as “the world’s leading public service broadcaster.” Its mission is “to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain,” according to its website.

Britains voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the EU, though neither Prime Minister Boris Johnson nor his predecessor, Theresa May — both Conservatives — have been able to negotiate a deal to do so.

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