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Saturday 6 June 2020

Is The BBC Protecting Isabel Oakeshott?

A curious omission, indeed, a glaring omission, has detracted from the BBC’s reporting of yet another Tory MP encountering difficulty sticking to the lockdown rules which his party put in place, and most likely for which he voted. The Isle of Wight’s Parliamentary representative Bob Seely has been caught attending a barbecue, and before the recent loosening of lockdown restrictions. He has come clean and owned up.
As the Beeb has reported, “A Conservative MP has admitted he failed to follow lockdown guidance when he reportedly attended a barbecue. Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely went to an evening gathering at a journalist's home in Seaview on 22 May … Mr Seely said he and his girlfriend met the man for a work-related discussion and ate ‘half a sausage’, but did not enter the house or have a drink”. So he broke the rules, but only half of them.

His excuse? “When I arrived, I saw another couple of people there, which I was not expecting. I thought about leaving, but felt that was perhaps over-reacting. I apologise because, on balance, I called this wrong. It would have better to have spoken to this person without any others nearby”. But the journalist is not named in the BBC report. Nor are the “couple of people” who were also there. Why is this odd?

Well, the Beeb report is citing a piece in the Guardian, which certainly has named those involved - all of them. So the BBC could have done the same, but for some reason chose not to. And forget the “they weren’t important” excuse - they were, and appear to have been flouting the lockdown rules. Including one person we see on the BBC regularly.

So, without further ado, over to the Guardian. “The Tory MP spearheading efforts to promote the Covid-19 contact-tracing app trial on the Isle of Wight appears to have broken lockdown rules at a barbecue also attended by the chairman of the Brexit party and political journalists”. Chairman of the Brexit Party. That means Richard Tice.
And the “political journalists”? “Bob Seely went to the evening gathering hosted by the Spectator magazine’s deputy editor, Freddy Gray, in the village of Seaview on the island last month. Richard Tice, the Brexit party chairman, and his partner, the political journalist Isabel Oakeshott, were also there”. Isabel Oakeshott. Is she an IoW resident, then?

Well, no she isn’t. “Tice and Oakeshott did not deny their attendance … Oakeshott is thought to have been staying last month at her nearby apartment in Seaview, a second home which she purchased in 2018. Government rules have stated that people must remain in their primary residence, specifying that essential travel does not include visits to second homes”. Ms Oakeshott was there, and, it appears, also broke lockdown rules.

At the time of the gathering, lockdown measures had only been eased, on 13 May, to the point of allowing one person to meet one other from a different household in public outdoor settings as long as they stayed more than 2 metres apart … [on 12 May] the health secretary, Matt Hancock, stressed that people should not meet in a person’s garden”.

That looks like a nailed-on breach of lockdown rules, not only for Seely, but also for the man from the Speccy - plus Tice and Ms Oakeshott. But the BBC airbrushed them out.

Why would the Beeb do that? You might wish to ask that - I couldn’t possibly comment.
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grim northerner said...

Tice is a posh cunt who knowingly encouraged the worst excesses of islamaphobia in his rotten party.

Steve Woods said...

The insignificant "half a sausage" detail tells me that Seely is lying his head off.

Having taken the time to read the account in the Gruaniad, there are inconsistencies between the stories told by the participants.

Finally, does Seely always take his girlfriend with him when doing "constituency work"?

The toffee (597) said...

Hang the fucking lot of them - but especially the talentless grass, oakshit.

rob said...

Are Brexit and and Covid-19 just Spectator sports?

Anonymous said...

The BBC talked about it at length on 5Live, including her being present. So if the BBC are trying to hide it they're not doing a very good job.

rob said...

@ Anon 12:09

And what audience is covered by BBC5 live as opposed to the BBC's main flagship programmes? It's pushing the "embarassing for associates" news into little corners where damage can be limited whilst claiming "we covered it". And by associates I mean those that may have "favoured pundit" status.

Unknown said...

The fact that the Spectator is linked to this and the Cummings story is really important and should be in the public domain as fully as possible.