European Scrutiny CommitteeLetter to Chairman from Peter Knowles, Controller, BBC Parliament (ESI 13)

1. In your questioning of ITN and Sky executives at the Committee hearing 24th April I was concerned to hear the repeated assertion that, in our evidence, we had suggested that the BBC thought Europe “too complicated” for our viewers.

2. Our evidence made no such suggestion and in fact we went to great lengths to describe the efforts made across BBC News to examine the UK’s institutional relationship with the EU. We also answered questions on the difficulty for a broadcaster in covering a document-based scrutiny process and explained why the European Scrutiny Committee gets less coverage than some other committees.

3. I explained at our evidence session that BBC Parliament has shown in full four hearings of your committee over the past two years. We continue to analyse the work of the Committee in Today in Parliament and report debates in the chamber which have been recommended by the Committee. In addition, I would point out that we have shown in full a number of evidence sessions of the Lords EU Scrutiny Committee. To be clear, we do not think that Europe is either boring or too difficult.

Prepared 28th November 2013