8 February 2006: for immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today announced a protest event to take place from 12-2 pm on Thursday, 9 February, outside the Portland Place office of the BBC. The protest is in response to the BBC’s repeated failure to report on Britain’s breach of Article VI of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while heavily reporting on Iran’s possible breaches of the Treaty. CND submitted a letter to the editor of BBC Radio’s Today Programme, which ran a lengthy piece on Iran’s possible breaches of the Treaty, without once mentioning Britain’s failure to adhere to the Treaty, on 31 January.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “The BBC must live up to its high standards of journalistic integrity by reporting fairly on the issues. By ignoring Britain’s breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty while focusing solely on Iran’s actions, they are giving the public a skewed version of nuclear reality.”
Well-known MPs, academics, and activists will participate in the protest, with speeches beginning at 1 pm, to highlight the dangers of the BBC’s media bias. Speakers include: Walter Wolfgang, CND Vice-President; Bruce Kent, CND Vice-President; Canon Paul Ostreicher, CND Vice-President; Air Commodore Alistair Mackie, CND Vice-President; Kate Hudson, CND Chair; Lindsey German, Chair, Stop the War Coalition; Dr Elaheh Rostami-Povey, School of Oriental and African Studies; Jeremy Corbyn, MP; and Roudabeh Shafie, Founder, Action Iran.
At Thursday’s event, the speakers will hand a letter in to Michael Grade, Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors, requesting a meeting to discuss the BBC’s plans for fairly covering the Iran nuclear issues in the future. Bruce Kent, CND Vice-President, said, “The nuclear weapons states are in breach of a major requirement of the treaty itself. No negotiations aimed at abolition are in progress and suggestions that they shall start have been strongly resisted. There are still over 13,000 nuclear warheads deployed by these states. We must receive an assurance that the BBC will hold Britain to account for its obligations under the NPT in the same way that it does for Iran or any other nation.”
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.
3. All speakers listed above will be available for interviews; please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859 to schedule an interview slot
4. The UK currently has around 200 nuclear warheads deployed on its fleet of four Trident submarines
5. In addition to the 13,000 nuclear warheads deployed by the five nuclear weapon signatories to the NPT, there are approximately 14,000 more nuclear warheads in storage ready to be deployed