Sunday, September 04, 2005

BBC's Humphreys lets Naseem speak; Humphreys faces BBC probe.

BBC radio presenter John Humphrys interviewed the leader of one of Britain's biggest mosques, Dr Mohammed Naseem on 3 September 2005.

Humphrys allowed Naseem to say the following:

1. The Khan tape did not prove the bombings had been carried out by Muslims.

2. The tape could have been doctored. "We are in the 21st Century. The cows can be made to look as dancing, the horses can speak like humans, so these things can be doctored."

3. There should be an independent inquiry to establish whether the bombers were Muslims.,6903,1562479,00.html

According to Ned Temko, in the Observer 4 September 2005, "'Stitched up' Humphrys faces BBC probe."

Today programme's John Humphrys, made scathing remarks about leading Labour figures.

Humphrys strongly denied the allegations last night, saying his comments had been part of a 'good humoured, light-hearted speech' and 'meant with great affection'.

The form in which they had been reported 'clearly suggest a stitch-up,' he said.

Humphreys reportedly said that Peter Mandelson, now a European commissioner and still close to the Prime Minister, was universally detested. Last night Mandelson hit back publicly at the presenter. He said Humphrys had been seeking revenge for having been criticised over the Today report that accused the government of having 'sexed up' intelligence about Saddam Hussein's 'weapons of mass destruction' before the Iraq war.

'I went on Today during the controversy over [Andrew] Gilligan, the radio journalist behind the report. But I didn't take on Gilligan - I took on what Humphrys had said in his introduction to the report,' Mandelson said.

'It was Humphrys who set the tone for the report, I said, and I read on air three bald assertions made by him as fact.' Humphrys, he said, was 'furious, incandescent'.

Humphrys was reported to have said that the original May 2003 Today allegation of 'sexed-up' weapons intelligence had in fact been correct. The BBC apologised for the report after the Hutton inquiry said it contained inaccuracies.



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