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Channel 4 News IS biased against the Tories, say its own journalists

Channel 4 News has received complaints from its own journalists about the programme's 'anti-Tory bias', The Mail on Sunday understands.

The revelation comes amid a series of rows about Channel 4's Election coverage after the channel replaced Boris Johnson with a melting ice sculpture when he declined to appear on its climate debate programme and falsely claimed he called immigrants 'people of colour' in a speech rather than 'people of talent'.

The BBC has also infuriated the Tories with its coverage – including last week's on-air monologue from presenter Andrew Neil in which he attacked the Prime Minister for refusing to agree to an interview.

The revelation comes amid a series of rows about Channel 4's Election coverage after the channel replaced Boris Johnson with a melting ice sculpture (left) when he declined to appear on its climate debate programme

Channel 4 falsely claimed Boris Johnson called immigrants 'people of colour' in a speech rather than 'people of talent'. This is a grab of the wrongly captioned version, which mistakenly reports him saying 'people of colour'

Insiders say that the anti-Brexit, anti-Trump stance of Channel 4 News has caused such concern among some of its 26 journalists that representations have been made to the board of ITN, which produces the programme. 

A source said: 'Representations from senior journalists have been made to ITN's top brass because Channel 4 News has stopped pretending to be balanced when it comes to anything to do with Brexit or Donald Trump or the Conservatives in general. Why does ITN allow it?'

Channel 4's approach to the climate debate triggered a formal complaint from Mr Johnson's head of communications, Lee Cain, who said it was part of a 'wider pattern of bias' – coming as it did after Channel 4's head of news and current affairs, Dorothy Byrne, used a speech in the summer to claim the Prime Minister was a 'known liar'.

An ice sculpture was put in place for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the studio before the start of the Channel 4 News' General Election climate debate on November 28 

Channel 4 News has had a troubled history with the Tory Party. In 2017, the main Channel 4 News anchor, Jon Snow, 72, allegedly shouted 'F*** the Tories' while at the Glastonbury Festival. The presenter said he had 'no recollection' of the incident.

Another programme source added: 'I'm aware of only one member of the on-air Channel 4 News team who votes Tory. You speak to any of the prominent journalists and they are clearly anti-Tory. I also know of only one Channel 4 News journalist who voted for Brexit. The programme has a very clear political agenda now.'

The row took a further twist last night after a senior BBC presenter, who asked to remain anonymous, said Channel 4 News had been hijacked by a 'sanctimonious' Left-wing cabal that had declared war on the Conservative Party.

The presenter said: 'The BBC is used to being in conflict with government and there have been terrible blow-ups over the years. But both sides have always pulled back from the brink out of a sense of proportion. 

'But that sense of proportion doesn't exist with Channel 4. Most rows between broadcasters and governments come and go, but Channel 4 picked this row with the Government when Dorothy Byrne called Johnson a liar and made it clear were going after him.

'To make matters worse, they also attacked the BBC for not being part of this. They lost a lot of friends then. The striking thing about Channel 4 is just how friendless they are. 

'They are so sanctimonious and now they have been caught literally making something up in order to try to damage the Prime Minister. I don't think anyone in the BBC has any sympathy for them. 

'The feeling is that they are a bunch of sanctimonious idiots who have brought it upon themselves.' 

The source said they were aware of concerns within Channel 4 itself, adding: 'I know some non-sanctimonious people there who are really frightened. They feel they have been taken over by a Left-wing cabal.'

A BBC spokesman said its Election coverage had been 'extensive, in-depth and has held all parties to account' and the Corporation was 'committed to reporting the Election campaign fairly, impartially and without fear or favour'.

A senior Tory source said: 'Viewers will have learned more from Boris's 12 minutes with Holly and Phil on This Morning than half an hour of Andrew Neil's shouting. The BBC needs to freshen up its political coverage and abandon these tired old formats if it wants to hang on to viewers.'

A Channel 4 News spokesman said it was regulated by Ofcom and 'has repeatedly been given a clean bill of health on matters of due impartiality. We go to great lengths to ensure we fairly represent every viewpoint and opinion across all political aspects. 

'After yesterday's error, we apologised immediately on social media and later during our programme. A personal letter of apology was also sent to the Prime Minister from the editor'.

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