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BBC Wales rapped for bias over Thatcher programme.

Byline: Tomos Livingstone Political Editor

THE BBC broke its own rules on impartiality with a controversial documentary looking at Margaret Thatcher's impact on Welsh politics, the corporation's standards watchdog said yesterday.

Wales: Power And The People - Back To The Future, was broadcast on BBC2 Wales on July 23 last year, and was fronted by newsreader Huw Edwards.

Complaints to the BBC suggested the programme displayed an anti-Thatcher bias, and the use of footage of miners confronting police in Orgreave, South Yorkshire, had given the impression "that Mrs Thatcher caused riots in Wales".

There were also concerns that Edwards, pictured, appeared to be encouraging people to go out and vote in Assembly elections.

Now the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee - chaired by Richard Tait, former ITN editor-in-chief and now director of the Cardiff Centre for Journalism Studies - has concluded that impartiality rules were breached.

As a public service broadcaster the BBC is supposed to adhere to strict guidelines over political bias.

The findings come with the BBC under intense scrutiny in the wake of the Russell Brand-Jonathan Ross obscene phone messages affair.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 14, 2008
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