‘Entirely inappropriate’ to quote LGB Alliance on trans issues, says Ofcom chief

Reporting by the BBC which seeks to “balance” debates around trans issues by approaching groups like LGB Alliance for comment are “entirely inappropriate”, according to Ofcom’s chief executive.

Speaking to MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Dame Melanie Dawes said the watchdog had been working to help broadcasters inform their viewers of current affairs “in an appropriate way”.

Her comments came in answer to a question from John Nicolson, the MP for Ochil & South Perthshire, who said: “I notice that the BBC seems to be under the impression that it needs to ‘balance’ all its reports about trans issues now, by calling in transphobic groups like the so-called LGB Alliance to give a counter argument.

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“I think this is absurd because you would never do a report on racism, for example, and call in a racist organisation to say that they don’t think black people have a right to equality.

Speaking to MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Dame Melanie Dawes said the watchdog had been working to help broadcasters inform their viewers of current affairs “in an appropriate way”.

Asked what the BBC can do to address this, Dame Dawes replied: “I think that is a very good point, and actually a very good example of something that we’ve been talking to Stonewall about actually - about how can the broadcasters, when they do feel they need to bring balance into a debate, do it in an appropriate way, rather than in the way you just described, which would be extremely inappropriate.

“I don’t think there is a lack of will here by the BBC or others,” Dame Dawes continued, “but I do think we can do more to give people the information they need to be able to make the judgements in some areas which can be quite contentious.”

The LGB Alliance describes itself as “a group of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who, by and large, have spent our entire lives campaigning for equality for people with same-sex sexual orientation.”

The group claims transgenderism is “pseudo-scientific” and “dangerous to children”, and has campaigned against proposed changes to the UK Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

But several high-profile LGBT+ campaigners have labelled the LGB Alliance a hate group, and thousands of people signed a recent petition calling on broadcasters not to “uncritically platform” the group or its supporters.

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