Galloway: BBC set me up with anti-semite question

George Galloway has accused the BBC of setting him up on an episode of Question Time. Picture: Getty

George Galloway has accused the BBC of setting him up on an episode of Question Time. Picture: Getty

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GEORGE Galloway has hit out at the BBC following his appearance on Question Time, saying he was set up and that David Dimbleby privately apologised to him afterwards.

The controversy centred around a question that one audience member asked about a rise in anti-Semitism in the UK.

But the question also included a reference to the MP for Bradford West bearing some responsibility for this rise, an inclusion he said that had not been agreed beforehand.

The anti-war politician said the host David Dimbleby later apologised to him for this, but it represented what he said was a set-up within the BBC.

“A lot of people are very unhappy about it as it was a set-up,” he said.

“It was very poorly chaired by a man I admire but who let himself down immensely. It showed the opposition in a very bad light and I don’t know who was advising them.

“It is defamatory and worse and it was not the question that was asked. The question that was tabled and agreed was not the question that was asked.

“He added his own words and David Dimbleby should have stopped and re-shot that question, as it’s not a live show.

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“David Dimbleby apologised to me afterwards for the man adding on that bit, but he should have made it clear to the audience that this trick had been played and not just apologise afterwards.

“To accuse a parliamentarian of 27 years of being responsible for a spike in anti-Semitism is totally ludicrous.”

He also took issue with the make-up of the audience, saying there was not a single Muslim among them, despite there being many in the borough where it was filmed.

Fellow panel member Jonathan Freedland also did not escape his ire, as he said he had stoked the fires and for that he would never forgive him.

“There was not a single Muslim person in the audience even though there are 50,000 Muslims in the borough,” he said.

“Jonathan Freedland was the prosecutor in chief, he lit the touch paper and then smugly retired and for that I will never forgive him.

“Any anti-Semitic attack of any kind is utterly despicable but there are at least ten times the number of attacks on mosques. Mr Freedland claimed there had been 1,000 attacks on Jews but there have actually been 84.

“The impression was given that people are roaming around the UK looking for Jews to attack but far more people are walking around Britain looking for Muslims.”

When asked about the incident the BBC declined to comment.

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