Peter Oborne said the Daily Mail was ‘extremely accurate and fair’

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Saturday 24 June 2017 16:15
news

The BBC Question Time audience broke out into laughter during Thursday night's show, after Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne called the paper "extremely accurate and fair".

The panel were discussing Brexit when an audience member, speaking in support of a second referendum, said he didn't know what Brexit was "going to mean when we voted for it in the referendum". He went onto blame 'lies' in "papers like the Daily Mail" for the Leave victory.

After being asked by host David Dimbleby: “What were the lies in the Daily Mail?” the audience member replied:

£350 million a week to the NHS?

It's worth noting that the £350 million a week to the NHS came from the official Leave campaign, although the tabloid did encourage its readers to vote leave.

Picture: Getty Images / Jack Taylor(Getty)

Oborne replied:

The Mail is an extremely accurate and fair paper.

[You] may not like it, but it is read by an awful lot of people - honourable, decent people - I imagine a lot of you in this audience. 

It’s a great newspaper - it doesn’t tell lies.

Oborne was largely ridiculed online for his comments, however some left-wing commentators, such as LBC's James O'Brien came to his defence, calling him "a journalist of rare integrity".

Oborne famously resigned from the Telegraph in 2015 after criticising the links between the paper's commercial and editorial arms.

This week, The Daily Mail launched an attack on the Guardian, calling them "Fake news, the fascist left and the REAL purveyors of hate," dedicating a page editorial to the left-wing newspaper that was described by the Press Gazette as "its most savage ever editorial attack".

The editorial was in response to a cartoon printed in the Guardian following the Finsbury Park attack, which killed one and saw eleven people injured after a van was driven outside a mosque.

The cartoon depicted the aftermath of the attack, with "Read the Sun & Daily Mail" written on the side of the van.

The editorial from the Mail stated:

First, an apology to our readers. We realise that they are not interested in our differences with other newspapers, which inevitably risk being seen as self-obsessed navel-gazing.

But this week the Guardian published a cartoon so sick and disgusting – so deranged and offensive to the four million decent, humane and responsible people who read us – that we owe it to every one of them to lay to rest this malicious smear...

...The implication was as unmistakable as it was poisonous. The Guardian was telling its followers that the Daily Mail and its readers are vicious bigots with the blood of innocent, peace-loving Muslims on their hands.

It added:

But this is far from a one-off insult to our readers, who – as should go without saying – were as horrified and appalled as the rest of the country by the Finsbury Park attack...

...For the record – not that this matters to the fake news the Guardian creates about the Mail – this paper has always been against UKIP, so much so that Nigel Farage blamed as for his lack of electoral success.

It's provoked a huge amount of negative attention from left-wing critics on twitter, who are sharing various provocative Mail front pages.

The Daily Mail won Newspaper of the Year in the 2016 Press Awards, where it was praised for its "strong and provocative voice, campaigning journalism and shaping of the national conversation".

More: The founder of Wikipedia had the perfect response to a Daily Mail journalist upset about the ban

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