The BBC and other broadcasters have become “the PR department of Greenpeace” with their coverage of climate change, Andrew Neil has claimed.
The former BBC and GB News presenter also said British broadcasters had colluded in the “conspiracy theory” that the Kremlin helped Donald Trump to win the presidency of the United States, and refused to tell the truth about the origins of Covid-19.
In a speech to a media forum, Mr Neil took a swipe at his most recent employer, GB News, saying the station had become a “Ukip tribute band”.
Addressing media coverage of the environment, he said: “In covering climate change, we are no longer journalists – we are basically the PR department of Greenpeace. You don’t need to be a global warming sceptic to challenge what’s coming out.”
He also encouraged people to “look at the BBC and Sky” and coverage of the foreign minister of Tuvalu.
“He does a press conference [at Cop26] standing in water to make out his islands are about to go under,” Mr Neil said.
“Nobody pointed out there was a report that came out in 2018 which showed, in the last four years, the land mass in his island has increased by 70 hectares. Wasn’t that worth looking at? But, no, we just did it as a piece of PR.”
Speaking to the Freeview Outside the Box conference, Mr Neil said that the BBC, Sky and US broadcasters “peddled, basically, conspiracy theories for two-and-a-half years that Mr Trump had only got to the White House because the Kremlin was behind him”.
He went on: “For the first year or so of the Covid crisis, if you raised questions that there was more to it than just coincidence that Wuhan and Covid were in the same place, you were a sinophobe, a conspiracy theorist, and you weren’t allowed to get on to the mainstream media. It’s quite clear now that Wuhan played a major part.
“If we want to be referees, if we want to be gatekeepers to call ‘the nutters’ to account – and there are plenty on the Right and the Left, the anti-vaxxers and all the rest, we need to get our own house in order.”
The BBC and Sky declined to comment.
‘Biggest single mistake of my career’
Mr Neil also addressed his acrimonious departure from GB News. He has one last television job in him, he said, because “I don’t want GB News to be a full stop in my broadcasting career”.