Iain Duncan Smith anger at BBC reflects 'failure to tell Government's story'

Complaints by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith that the BBC is biased reflect a government struggling to convince the public, commentators have suggested.

Iain Duncan Smith: BBC pursuing its own narrative
Iain Duncan Smith: BBC pursuing its own narrative
Duncan Smith hit out at the broadcaster over its coverage of employment and the economy yesterday.

He told The Mail on Sunday that the BBC ‘is locked to the reading of the economy that is run out of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls' office'.

However, founder of Bingle Consulting and ex Bell Pottinger Public Affairs chairman Peter Bingle said the complaints were a sign of wider frustration ‘at the Government's failure to tell its side of the story’.

He said: ‘Governments in trouble always blame the media. It is a sad fact that this particular government's media machine is poor. There are two reasons. The first is that there is no real narrative. There is no compelling story to tell. The second is that the Number 10 press team is particularly weak. They are all too young and there are no grey hairs.’

Last quarter, the jobless total fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million. Duncan Smith said that when the news was good the BBC’s attitude was ‘get the Government out of the picture quickly, don't allow them to say anything about it'.

He singled out economics editor Stephanie Flanders for particular criticism, saying she ‘had poured cold water’ over the figures when they didn’t show a growth in unemployment.

However, Four Communication’s director for public affairs Jim Dickson said that the Government ‘feels the media are locked into a narrative that the economic plan a isn’t working and plan B is needed'.

However, he chimed in agreement with Bingle that the outburst was a reflection of internal frustration, pointing to the fact that the previous Labour government had made similar complaints.

Dickson added: ‘It will appear to the public that the Government doesn’t have a clear sense of purpose and direction. It is complaining about peripheral issues rather than pursuing a programme it believes in and is able to communicate.’

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