The Telegraph: "We will take no lectures about journalism from the BBC"

The Telegraph has defended its coverage of the HSBC story, saying it will "take no lectures about journalism from the likes of the BBC, The Guardian or The Times".

In a promise to its readers published last night on its website, the newspaper makes no apology for the way it has handled allegations made against HSBC – allegations that were "so enthusiastically promoted" by certain media outlets.

The statement questions the editorial impartiality of the BBC, The Guardian and The Times over their dismissive response to MPs' expenses claims, which was revealed by The Telegraph in 2009.

The article then launches an attack on the Labour Party, accusing Ed Miliband of jumping on the HSBC allegations and using them as a "weapon against the Conservatives" to further fuel Labour's "deep-seated hostility to business".

The Telegraph reassures its readers that "no subject, no story, no person and no organisation is off-limits to our journalists".

To prove this the media group is in the process of drawing up guidelines that will clearly define how its editorial and commercial staff will work together – a step which it claims will set the paper apart from its rivals in the industry.

The statement ends with a final reminder that unlike the BBC, which receives taxpayer support; The Guardian, which is backed by a "generously endowed charitable trust"; and The Times' subsidies from "tabloid stablemates", The Telegraph stands alone in generating its own profit to stay in business and provide its readers with "world-class" journalism.

The issue emerged after The Telegraph's chief political commentator Peter Oborne resigned earlier this week over the newspaper's coverage of the HSBC scandal, saying the publication was influenced by its advertisers.

Writing in PRWeek yesterday, Jolyon Kimble argued that it raises serious issues for all mainstream media.

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