Corrections and Clarifications

This page contains the BBC's responses to editorial, technical and corporate issues. It includes apologies, significant corrections, statements and responses, and findings from the BBC Trust.

It does not include routine corrections to news stories, minor on-air apologies and schedule changes.

Wednesday 11th September: @BBCPolitics, Twitter, 24 July 2019

A tweet referring to an interview with the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas about Brexit read: ‘Would Green MP Caroline Lucas accept the result of Brexit referendum where Leave won? “No, I probably wouldn’t”’

In fact Caroline Lucas told Politics Live said that in the short term she would accept the result and that this would settle the issue for the foreseeable future.

The tweet has been deleted and @BBCPolitics has since made clear this was because the original tweet misrepresented what Ms Lucas had said.

Friday 30th August 2019: The Food Chain: Food Under Siege, BBC World Service, 1 August 2019

We inadvertently implied in this programme that Gaza was under siege, like Aleppo and Sarajevo, rather than under a blockade. We have re-edited this programme to make the difference clear and to provide some more context about the nature of the Gaza blockade and the reasons for it.

Friday 30th August 2019: BBC News Online, 12 December 2018

In a report about the Pentagon’s plans to enter into a contract with a commercial company to store  classified data on the cloud (the JEDI contract), we raised security concerns in relation to the close relationship one of the main front runners for the contract, Amazon Web Services, had with the C5 group of cyber-investment companies.

The BBC’s Executive Complaint’s Unit has partially upheld a complaint from AWS. The ECU said that the evidence relied upon 'did not justify the clear impression that the relationship between AWS and C5 Group did create a threat to US national security in the event AWS were to be awarded the JEDI contract.’ 

As a result we have taken the article down.

Friday 23rd August 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4, 15 July 2019

In a report about cases of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, our correspondent said according to party figures, "the number of allegations only concern 0.6% of the party membership."

In fact Labour says the correct figure is 0.06%.


Wednesday 21st August 2019: PM, BBC Radio 4, 14 May 2019

In an interview about nutrition, reference was made to a study which showed people who drank sugared and diet soda put on weight, people who drank milk saw no change, while people who drank water lost weight. The study referred to was a February 2012 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. One of the co-authors asked us to make clear that in fact this is incorrect as the research revealed no statistically significant change in body weight during the trial for any of the groups monitored. 

Wednesday 21st August 2019: BBC News Online, 19 June 2019

In a story of one woman’s experience with vaccinations, we interviewed ‘Meredith’ who believed that the frightening illnesses she was experiencing as an adult were the result of her mother deciding not to get her vaccinated as a child.

When further investigations revealed that Meredith had not been treated for tetanus in hospital in Queensland, we decided to withdraw the story from the website. In fact Meredith was hospitalised with suspected tetanus, but doctors later identified a different infection.

Wednesday 21st August 2019: Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Two and BBC News Channel, 20 August 2019

In a discussion about new research on how gambling companies promote their services on Twitter, we incorrectly stated that didn’t respond to our request for comment. They did respond, saying: “We condemn any form of underage gambling and we adhere to the most stringent regulation enforcing this. This is clearly defined in the terms and conditions of our site. Furthermore we do not accept users from the United Kingdom.”

Tuesday 20th August 2019: BBC News Channel and News Online, 12 August 2019

In a report about drugs crime figures and county lines, we referred to the village of Westhumble in Surrey where figures show there’s been an increase in drugs offences in the past year. Surrey police have confirmed these cases relate to drugs possession in the surrounding area and are not gang related. Westhumble is not a centre for county lines dealing and we accept it should not have featured in reports about how drugs gangs are moving away from cities and into less densely populated areas.

(Updated 12th September 2019)

Monday 22nd July 2019: News at Ten, BBC One and News Channel, 13 May 2019

In a report on the Swedish investigation into the rape allegations against Julian Assange being reopened, our presenter referred to charges against him. While there have been allegations made against Mr Assange, he has never been charged.

Monday 15th July 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4, 7 July 2019

In a discussion about Labour’s policies, a guest asserted that Labour MP Ellie Reeves was facing possible deselection in her seat of Lewisham West and Penge.

We have been asked to point out that one member of the constituency Labour Party had asked for a vote of no confidence in Ms Reeves but no such motion was moved at the CLP's general meeting. Ms Reeves has publicly thanked members of the CLP for the support for her expressed at the meeting.

Wednesday 10th July 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4, 2 July 2019

In an interview about the proposed London Resort Project, the Chief Executive of the London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) said LRCH has an option over ALL the land required in order to progress the project.

In fact LRCH controls 80% of the land required and discussions with interested parties and landowners are ongoing.

Tuesday 11th June 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4, 5 June 2019

As part of our D-Day coverage we mistakenly referred to an army vehicle as a World War Two Land Rover. In fact Land Rover did not start production until 1948, after the Second World War.

Tuesday 11th June 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4 and BBC News Online, 3 June 2019

In a question to one of its directors, we stated that the TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall blamed the chemical firm Ineos for plastic waste found on a Grangemouth beach.

The company denied it was responsible, but in fact Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall had not said this. We’ve amended the BBC Sounds edition of the programme and a BBC News Online article has also been changed.

Tuesday 4th June 2019: North West Tonight, BBC One North West, 18 April 2019

In a report on local disciplinary procedures within the Labour Party, it was incorrectly stated that Union official, Sian Bloor, had been “readmitted” to the Party. While Ms Bloor received a sanction during an investigation, her membership status had not changed during the investigation.

Thursday 30th May 2019: Yesterday In Parliament, Today, BBC Radio 4, 23 May 2019

In a report on the Work and Pensions Select Committee evidence session in Parliament, we reported that some vulnerable people faced difficulties accessing Universal Credit because claims have to be done online. The Department for Work and Pensions has asked us to point out that this is not the case as claims can also be submitted on the phone or via home visits that can be arranged on request.

Friday 24th May 2019: BBC News at Six, BBC One, News Channel and News Online, 14 May 2019

In a report about smart meters, we said up to £1.7 billion had been spent on installing meters that are not working as they should.

This figure is wrong and should not have been included in the report. It was calculated from the overall projected cost of the entire smart meter project rather than the cost to date, and did not take into account the fact that the roll out of smart meters is less than half way through.

We also said that the second generation of smart meters are not able to switch between suppliers. In fact, the second generation of smart meters should be able to function with a different supplier.

Thursday 16th May 2019: The Andrew Marr Show, BBC One, 14 April 2019

In an edition of this programme, David Lammy MP said the Windrush Compensation Scheme was “heavily capped when people make individual claims. So for example, if you’ve been deported you have a cap of £10,000.” While this figure is accurate, the adviser to the scheme has asked us to point out that applicants can make claims under multiple categories and there is no overall cap on the amount of compensation an individual can receive.

Thursday 16th May 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4, 12 February 2019

In a discussion on a report about changes to the environment by the Institute for Public Policy Research, reference was made to an IPPR statistic that since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times.

The IPPR has since corrected their report to say that this is, in fact, since 1950.  

We are happy to make this clear.

Monday 8th April 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4 and BBC News Online, 8 March 2019

BBC Radio 4's Today programme discussed the accuracy of claims made about food poisoning in the UK compared to the US. In doing so, we wrongly compared US estimated figures with UK confirmed figures. The following article on the topic has been updated with additional statistics and now gives more context around this issue:

Thursday 28th March 2019: Today, BBC Radio 4, 25 March 2019

In an item about the Sackler Trust, we reported its decision to suspend future gifts to charities in light of the controversy over money it received which derived from the sale of opioid painkillers.

Commenting on this, an interviewee referred to 300,000 people having died in America.

We would like to make clear this was a reference to the overall number of deaths linked to opioids in general, and not deaths linked to a specific product or company. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 400,000 people died between 1999 and 2017 in the USA from an overdose involving any opioid.

Thursday 28th March 2019: News at Ten, BBC One and BBC News Online, 23 May 2018

In our News at Ten bulletin and in an online article published on 23 May 2018 we incorrectly reported that Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, had procured or authorised a corrupt payment of $400,000 to be made to Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer of Donald Trump, to extend a brief meeting between Mr Poroshenko and President Trump, that had already been agreed, into more substantial talks.

We believed that the publications made a less serious allegation against Mr Poroshenko, but in the light of a finding by the High Court that the allegation was as set out above, we are happy to accept that this allegation was untrue. We apologise to Mr Poroshenko for any distress caused and have agreed to pay him damages, legal costs and have participated in a joint statement in open court.

Monday 11th March 2019: BBC News bulletins, BBC One and BBC News Channel, 3 March 2019

In an interview with Shamima Begum’s husband, we incorrectly stated that in the UK, “sex with someone under 16 is statutory rape.”

In fact, that charge does not exist in UK Law. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 instead refers to this as "sexual activity with a child".

Friday 1st March 2019: World at One, BBC Radio 4, 17 January 2019

We said, “At the moment, offshore wind is now £57.50 per MWH”. We should clarify that we meant to specify that this is the current estimated cost for 2022-2023.

Wednesday 23rd January 2019: Question Time, BBC One and BBC Radio 5 live, 17 January 2019

Though a YouGov poll published on the day of the programme suggested a lead for the Conservatives, Diane Abbott was right to describe the overall situation as “kind of level pegging”, and we should not have described Labour as “definitely” behind on the basis of a single poll. We should always report voting intention polls in the context of trend.

This correction was amended on 18 April 2019 following a finding by the Executive Complaints Unit

Thursday 17th January 2019: World at One, BBC Radio 4, 26 December 2018

We said that “over the past few decades… four fifths of Iraq's Christians have fled or been killed; in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as those following other religions have grown sharply in number, the Christian population has shrunk.” In the region as a whole, numbers are certainly continuing to fall. But in recent times particularly Israel’s Christian population has increased - for example, in 2017, by 2.2%.

Thursday 10th January 2019: News at Ten, BBC One and BBC News Channel, 9 January 2019

The headlines reported the Prime Minister as saying that her plan was the only realistic one and the only way to avoid "crashing out" of the EU without a deal.

We should clarify this phrase was used in the debate by several MPs but not by the Prime Minister.