General Election Complaints 

We are receiving more complaints than normally due to our extended coverage of General Election campaigning, the issues arising and greater social media activity. We are trying to respond to all complaints as quickly as possible but delays can occur. 

Our coverage reflects issues and debates which arise as the campaign unfolds, and fair coverage or balance needs to be considered overall in that context. For more information about this, our blog published by the BBC’s Head of Newsgathering explains our approach to staging the BBC leadership debates between the parties in greater detail. Our general coverage of the campaign, along with some of the issues which can arise, is explained similarly in detail by the BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs.

If you need to contact us about an issue the ways to do so are explained lower down this page.

What to expect

We circulate your complaint in full with all the other reaction we have overnight for producers and managers to read and consider. Please complain centrally in writing or we can’t guarantee you a reply. We investigate possible breaches of standards but won’t reply in detail to views and other comments.

People’s opinions about our work vary widely but this may not imply a breach of standards. For example, last-minute scheduling changes can never please everyone. So our reply may not always be what someone may wish for, but if we are at fault we will apologise.  Please read the complete BBC Complaints Framework for full details.

How does the BBC react to complaints?

We judge the issues they raise against BBC Editorial Guidelines, Ofcom’s expected standards and audience research. If we are at fault, if necessary we’ll take steps to avoid it happening again. The BBC’s Editorial Standards Board reviews complaints each month and reports to the BBC Board. This informs any reviews of editorial, compliance or other policies.

Does the number of complaints make a difference?

No. We’re concerned about each complaint, but what matters is whether the BBC acted wrongly. If so we apologise, if not we try to explain in our reply. If others complain about the same issue as you, our responses will be the same for efficiency. If we come under pressure from petitions, lobbies or from elsewhere we will defend our independence if necessary.

Ofcom

Please complain to the BBC first. The BBC’s regulator Ofcom may later consider a complaint but only after the BBC has replied in full. If so we’ll tell you how to contact Ofcom. The exception is for a complaint about alleged unfairness or infringement of privacy to you (not someone else). These can be made either to the BBC or Ofcom first, but not to both.

Misuse of the service

We will treat you with courtesy and respect and expect the same consideration to be shown to staff. If you misuse the service we may stop correspondence or prevent your future access to it.