Everybody should be able to voice their concerns over human rights

Monday March 13th 2023

Foysol-Choudhury-MSP-Lothian-Region-Labour

This View has been written by Foysol Choudhury Labour MSP for Lothian Region

I am glad that the BBC has decided to review its social media guidelines to ensure that free speech and independence from UK Government pressures is upheld.

At the heart of this storm are the asylum seekers who not only have often faced conflict and trauma, but are facing unsafe passage and hatred if they do arrive in the UK.

The public outcry to the UK Government’s ‘Stop the Boats’ scheme shows the strength of feeling across the UK that, like Gary, we believe that this policy is indefensible and uses false and manipulated stereotypes of asylum seekers to stoke fears.

Everybody should be able to voice their concerns over human rights and our country’s adherence to international law.

Gary Lineker has voiced his opinion before, so this raises concerns that he was only reprimanded now because he spoke out against a UK Government policy.

Our BBC must remain independent from Government pressures and publicly funded services should not be used as a mouthpiece for the UK Government.

If the BBC must remain impartial then this should be implemented equally to all presenters, on all matters – it should not be used selectively when political pressure is exerted.

I am glad that a conversation can now happen about impartiality and free speech, so that we can ensure our institutions are upholding values of decency, morality and independence.

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