BBC is ignoring positive Brexit stories, Liam Fox claims

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The BBC is wilfully ignoring positive Brexit stories and shows a clear pattern of unbalanced reporting, the International Trade Secretary has claimed.

Liam Fox has called for a face-to-face meeting with the corporation’s boss, Lord Hall, to discuss the way “important” announcements from his department are being covered.

But the Liberal Democrats accused him of behaving like a “tinpot dictator” and claimed the move was a “blatant attempt at intimidating” the BBC.

In a letter seen, Mr Fox said the BBC had chosen not to report annual foreign direct investment figures released by the Department for International Trade despite being contacted about them by his team.

The BBC also turned down an interview opportunity with him during a visit he made to Paris, it said.

“I understand that the BBC cannot cover every story and I appreciate too, that despite its best efforts, the corporation cannot always guarantee total impartiality,” the letter said.

“However, I believe that we are now seeing a clear pattern of unbalanced reporting of the UK economy and, when it comes to the work of my department, evidence of the corporation wilfully ignoring positive economic data when we publish it.”

Liberal Democrat chief whip Alistair Carmichael said: “This is a blatant attempt at intimidating the BBC and undermining the independence of our media.

“The BBC shouldn’t be bullied into publishing government propaganda and has rightly stood its ground.

“Liam Fox is acting like a tinpot dictator. He can’t blame the media for his inability to deliver on all the trade deals promised by the Brexiteers.”

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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