Labour lodges complaint over Diane Abbott’s treatment on BBC Question Time

Labour has lodged a formal complaint with the BBC over the treatment of shadow home secretary Diane Abbott by new Question Time presenter, Fiona Bruce.

Ms Abbott hit out over the weekend at the way she was repeatedly interrupted, with Ms Bruce stepping in to correct her, wrongly, over the latest Labour polling figures.

She said she had also been told Ms Bruce made unpleasant remarks about her before the recording began and that the studio audience in Derby had been "wound up" against her.

Question Time
Fiona Bruce on the set of Question Time (Richard Lewisohn/BBC/PA)

The BBC has acknowledged Ms Abbott was right about the polling figures, however Labour has said it wants an on-air apology.

The party is also demanding to see the footage from the audience warm-up.

A Labour source said: "We want to see the warm-up footage because of these claims from audience members and we want an on-air apology over the polling."

We've reviewed what was said re polling on @bbcquestiontime. A YouGov poll published on the day of the programme suggested a lead for the Conservatives. Diane Abbott was also right that some other polls suggested Labour either as ahead or tied, & we should have made that clear.

— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) January 19, 2019

In a statement, a BBC spokesman said they were "sorry" to hear of Ms Abbott's concerns and had sought to reassure her team that social media claims about the warm-up were "inaccurate and misleading".

"Diane is a regular and important contributor to the programme.

"We firmly reject claims that any of the panel was treated unfairly either before or during the recording," the spokesman said.

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