Corrections and Clarifications - Archive 2019

The BBC's responses to editorial, technical and corporate issues.

This page includes apologies, significant corrections, statements and responses. It does not include routine corrections to news stories, minor on-air apologies and schedule changes.

Corrections and clarifications are published in the order that they were issued.

Today and Newsbeat

BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 1, Friday 30 August 2019

On this date, both Today and Newsbeat reported on a letter to the Science journal from conservation biologists which said banning trophy hunting imperils biodiversity. Some months later, the journal published declarations of interest from the authors, including Dr Amy Dickman, who featured in our own programming. Dr Dickman is the Director of the Ruaha Carnivore Project, which has been funded by photo tourism (Asilia and Nomad) and in the past from the Dallas Safari Club and Safari Club International.


Victoria Derbyshire

BBC Two and BBC News Channel, Tuesday 26 November 2019

In a question to a representative of the Muslim Council of Britain about Labour's Race & Faith manifesto we said there were "no mentions of Islam". While this was intended to be a discussion about whether the document contains specific policies aimed at the Muslim community, we should make clear that it does in fact make references both to Muslims and Islamophobia - for example, the need for a memorial to Muslim soldiers, pay inequality faced by Muslim women and Labour's adoption of the All Party Parliamentary Group's definition of Islamophobia.


BBC Weekend News: Lunchtime News

BBC One, Saturday 23 November 2019

In a report on the previous night's Question Time: Leaders Debate, a clip was shortened for timing reasons on Saturday's lunchtime bulletin. This was to edit out a repetitious phrase from Boris Johnson, but in doing so, it also resulted in the audience laughter being removed.

Although there was absolutely no intention to mislead, we accept this was a mistake on our part, as it didn't reflect the full reaction to Boris Johnson's answer. We did not alter the soundtrack or image in any way apart from this edit, contrary to some claims on social media. A longer clip, including the audience reaction, was played out in full on BBC News at Ten on Friday evening and on other outlets.



BBC Radio 4, Wednesday 20 November 2019

In a discussion about the impact of the Leadership election debate, we said Boris Johnson had said the Royal Family is beyond reproach.

To be precise Boris Johnson had said: 'The institution of the monarchy is beyond reproach.'



BBC Radio 4, Monday 4 November 2019

In an item about the possible sale of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph, it was claimed the Telegraph is loss making. In fact the Telegraph Media Group made a pre-tax profit of £900,000 on turnover of £271million in 2018.

The Telegraph points out that while its paid-for circulation is 310,586 it also has 400,000 subscribers.



BBC One and BBC News Channel, Monday 11 November 2019

We incorrectly used footage from the Remembrance Day service in 2016. This was a production mistake and we apologise for the error. The footage was among archive we had selected to preview this year's service but it was used in error on Armistice Day itself, though not in combination with the correct footage.


Question Time

BBC One and BBC Radio 5 Live, Thursday 31 October 2019

The presenter misheard a reference from a member of the audience who said that Vote Leave "is accused of breaking electoral law" and gave the impression that this was not correct.

In fact, Vote Leave was fined £61,000 by the Electoral Commission and a police investigation into its activities during the EU referendum campaign is still active.

Leave.EU, to which the presenter was in fact referring, was also fined for electoral offences.



BBC One and BBC News Channel, Tuesday 5 October 2019

We incorrectly stated that the Independent Office for Police Conduct had found no evidence of lying or deliberate wrongdoing by the Metropolitan Chief Commissioner Cressida Dick in its review of Operation Midland. The IOPC investigation did not in fact refer to her.


BBC News Channel, Saturday 21 September 2019

During a report about the decision to scrap a vote to abolish the Labour deputy leader post, our correspondent quoted a tweet that they believed was posted to Tom Watson's official Twitter profile. However it has come to our attention that the tweet that was quoted in the report was taken from a fake Tom Watson Twitter account.


Christian Fraser

Twitter, Friday 6 September 2019

In a tweet Christian Fraser referred to the stance of three senior Labour party members on Brexit. We should make it clear that he was reflecting his understanding of their personal views, expressed in interviews with them, rather than the party's official position. One of them Richard Burgon, has clarified his own position.



BBC Radio 4, Thursday 24 October 2019

In an interview about Labour's Green New Deal, it was claimed that the GMB General Secretary had described the party's plans for zero net carbon emissions by 2030 as "negligent at best, vindictive and cruel at its worst". In fact this was how the GMB's Tim Roache had described the Government's approach to the zero carbon economy. Mr Roache has previously said the net zero carbon emissions target for 2030 was "unachievable".


From Our Own Correspondent

BBC Radio 4, Thursday 26 September 2019

In this programme, we suggested that Benjamin Netanyahu faces serious allegations of corruption, which he denies, and which were due to come to court next month.

This was in fact a pre-trial hearing in front of the attorney general at the Justice ministry.



BBC Radio 4, Thursday 3 October 2019

In a discussion about abolishing tuition fees it was claimed that Labour are 'the only ones that have that commitment' in England.

In fact the Green Party is also committed to abolishing tuition fees.

UKIP says it wants to abolish tuition fees for all when economic to do so. As a first step it will bring back maintenance grants for poor students and scrap fees for medicine and STEM courses.

The Liberal Democrats say they will reintroduce maintenance grants for poor students.


BBC Breakfast

BBC One and BBC News Channel, Saturday 27 July 2019

In exchanges about the causes of heavy rain and thunderstorms, high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming were given as direct factors. Any role for climate change in affecting storm conditions is the subject of ongoing research by the scientific community.


BBC Politics

Twitter, Wednesday 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.


The Food Chain: Food Under Siege

BBC World Service, Thursday 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.


BBC News Online, Wednesday 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 Complaints 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.



BBC Radio 4, Monday 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%.



BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 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.


BBC News Online, Wednesday 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.


Victoria Derbyshire

BBC Two and BBC News Channel, Tuesday 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."


BBC News Channel and BBC News Online, Monday 12 August 2019

In a report about drugs crime figures, we said that crime in Westhumble had quadrupled in the past year. We would like to clarify that this was relating to drugs possession, rather than to gang-related crime, and we did not specifically state that Westhumble was a centre for county lines dealing itself.


BBC News at Ten

BBC One and News Channel, Monday 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.



BBC Radio 4, Sunday 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.



BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 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.



BBC Radio 4, Wednesday 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.



BBC Radio 4 and BBC News Online, Monday 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.


North West Tonight

BBC One North West, Thursday 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.


Yesterday In Parliament and Today

BBC Radio 4, Thursday 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.


BBC News at Six

BBC One and BBC News Channel and News Online, Tuesday 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.


The Andrew Marr Show

BBC One, Sunday 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.



BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 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.



BBC Radio 4 and BBC News Online, Friday 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 article on the topic has been updated with additional statistics and now gives more context around this issue.



BBC Radio 4, Monday 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.


BBC News at Ten

BBC One and BBC News Channel and BBC News Online, Wednesday 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.


BBC News

BBC One and BBC News Channel, Sunday 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".


World at One

BBC Radio 4, Thursday 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.


Question Time

BBC One and BBC Radio 5 Live, Thursday 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


World at One

BBC Radio 4, Wednesday 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%.


BBC News at Ten

News at Ten, BBC One and BBC News Channel, Wednesday 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.