Six o’Clock News, Radio 4, 18 August 2017: Finding by the Executive Complaints Unit

Reporting on an initiative to set up a new consultative council for British Muslims, the BBC’s Religious Affairs Correspondent saidThe Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella organisation for 500 Sunni Mosques and Schools, represent less than 5% of Britain 2.5 million Muslims”. A representative of the Muslim Council of Britain complained that there was no basis for a figure as low as 5%

The Religious Affairs Correspondent had based the figure on an ICM poll supplemented by an allowance for outreach work subsequently conducted by the Council. However, the poll in question had not been framed with a view to measuring the extent of support for the Council, and other surveys more directly related to that question suggested that a much higher proportion of UK Muslims considered themselves to be represented by the Council.

Further action
The correspondent has been reminded that the results of surveys depend on the specific questions asked and that both should therefore be reported with due accuracy.