The BBC has been under fire over recent months, seemingly caught between a rock and the Tory government.

The question of impartiality surfaced over the tweet by presenter Gary Lineker condemning the Government’s immigration legislation.

The row escalated, as the highly paid sports presenter refused to back down.

The row has since been settled.

The whole spat though was a real own goal by the BBC, bringing fierce criticism of chairman Richard Sharp, who had donated to the Conservative Party and facilitated an £800,000 loan for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The impartiality of Director General, Tim Davie, was also questioned, given his previous record as a Conservative Party member and candidate for office.

Then, there is non-executive BBC board member, Robbie Gibb, the former director of communications for former Prime Minister Theresa May and brother of Tory MP Nick Gibb.

The question then seemed to be were the BBC cowering before a Tory government or had the corporation been colonised by the Tories, given the make up of senior management.

The free market Tories do have ideological objections to the BBC, seeing it as one of the last remaining big nationalised industries.

The approach to attacking the BBC has been one of a thousand cuts.

The licence fee was frozen and is now being phased out altogether.

The cost of providing free licences for over 75s shifted from the Government to the corporation.

But the big area of contention is not dramas like EastEnders and Happy Valley or nature programs like Springwatch and David Attenborough’s documentaries but news.

The BBCs journalism and news coverage has always been contentious with politicians.

There are those in the BBC who measure impartiality in news coverage, according to the amount of offence that can be caused to all sides. So, if Tories, Labour and the rest are unhappy about the news, they must be getting it about right.

The corporation is at a difficult time in its long history. Under attack from many sides, it often seems to lack a backbone when it comes to putting up resistance.

The BBC does contribute much to the life and culture of this country. It would be a poorer place without it - balanced or not.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See