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HomeNewsOops! Labour is as white and wealthy as the terrible Tories

Oops! Labour is as white and wealthy as the terrible Tories


WHICH UK political party’s membership is over 95 per cent white? For our many collectors of examples of the BBC repeatedly pushing the ‘maleness, paleness and staleness’ of those 160,000 Conservative Party members who are eligible to choose Our Next Prime Minister, Saturday’s PM on Radio 4 gave us another gem:

Jeremy Hunt is still taking questions from the audience while we’re on air and they are some of the 160,000 or so Conservative Party members who will decide which of the two men becomes the next Prime Minister. According to research by Queen Mary, University of London last year that membership is three-quarters men, while nine out of ten are middle-class, 97 per cent are white, and just over half live in London and the South of England.

That 97 per cent figure, much quoted by the BBC, prompted me to find the source of it – and PM’s citing of Queen Mary, University of London helped me.

And what an eye-opener ‘Grassroots’, their analysis of British political party membership, is!

Yes, it does find that Conservative Party members are 97 per cent white, but it also finds that the SNP is similarly 97 per cent white, that the Labour Party is 96 per cent white and the Lib Dems are 96 per cent white.

The Lib Dems turn out to be even more middle-class than the Conservatives, with Labour over three-quarters middle-class too.

Every party has a majority male membership, though the Conservatives do stand out a little there.

Which all raises the question of why are we getting BBC news bulletins (like Saturday’s BBC One News at Six), BBC reporters such as Matthew Price and PM hosts such as Caroline Wyatt and so on making so much of the ‘whiteness’ and ‘wealthiness’ of the Tory Party membership when all the other big parties’ memberships are just as white and roughly as wealthy?

And, not to be self-promoting (something it’s usually hard to accuse us of!) why is this tiny, unfunded two-person blog able to find this out – and point it out – while the massively-funded BBC simply just parrots it about the Tories without mentioning the figures for the other parties?

I’m so glad I listened to PM tonight. I feel as if I’ve busted an endlessly-parroted Big Lie.

This article first appeared on Is The BBC Biased? on June 22, 2019, and is republished by kind permission.

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Craig Byers
Craig Byers
Craig Byers is a blogger about the BBC, focusing on the issue of BBC bias while living in Britain's finest traditional seaside resort: Morecambe (the one with the Eric Morecambe statue).

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