BBC apologises for Andrew Marr accusing Priti Patel of laughing during Brexit interview

The BBC has apologised after host Andrew Marr (right) accused home secretary Priti Patel (left) of laughing over an on-air Brexit exchange
The BBC has apologised after host Andrew Marr (right) accused home secretary Priti Patel (left) of laughing over an on-air Brexit exchange
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The BBC has issued an apology after host Andrew Marr accused home secretary Priti Patel of laughing over on exchange on Brexit.

The Andrew Marr Show presenter said "I can't see why you're laughing" during an interview with Ms Patel on his Sunday morning politics show on 13 October.

Andrew Marr interviews Priti Patel on his Sunday morning politics show

Andrew Marr interviews Priti Patel on his Sunday morning politics show

Ms Patel appeared to ignore his comment before continuing with her answer.

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During the interview, Marr had read out a list of industry bodies who had expressed concern about the impact Brexit would have on their businesses, sparking the exchange.

Ms Patel, who was appearing via video link, did not speak as Marr then recited a letter one group had sent to the government, but her facial expressions prompted him to suggest she was laughing.

The BBC received 222 complaints about the broadcast.

The public corporation said in a statement it accepted Ms Patel was not "smiling", but displaying her "natural expression".

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In a statement, the BBC wrote: "Guests who appear on the Andrew Marr show expect robust interviewing that includes back and forth between themselves and Mr Marr.

"Andrew Marr commented on Priti Patel laughing after he glanced up while reading a list of business leaders concerned about the impact of Brexit on their industries.

"He thought he saw the home secretary smile, but now accepts this was in fact her natural expression and wasn't indicating amusement at his line of questioning."

The statement continued: "There was no intention to cause offence and we are sorry if viewers felt this to be the case."