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The BBC thought the deal was all sewn up – but it seems the Corporation’s bosses jumped to the wrong conclusion, too soon.

Before you jump to conclusions too, dear reader, be advised that this is not about Theresa May’s Brexit agreement with the EU, but about her challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, to take part in a debate about the deal on television.

Around lunchtime yesterday, the BBC News press team announced that Mrs May had accepted the Corporation’s offer to host the debate, on December 9.

There was just one problem, as Jim Waterson explained:

As The Canary reports: “Before becoming May’s director of communications in late 2017, Robbie Gibb was head of the BBC‘s Westminster programmes. Now, Gibb is reportedly insisting that the BBChosts the debate “at all costs”.

“Meanwhile, BBC news bulletins (and reporting from elsewhere in the corporate media, such as the Independent) are presenting May’s BBC debate as a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn. But in reality, the Labour leader said he would “relish” a TV debate with May late on 25 November, immediately after she suggested one.”

Here’s the thing:

That’s right. Theresa May issued the challenge, meaning Mr Corbyn should have the right to choose the terms.

And he doesn’t want to debate Mrs May on the BBC.

Can anybody blame him?

Here’s The Canary again: “The difference is that Labour prefers what ITV has tabled: a straight head-to-head debate between the two leaders. And it’s pretty obvious why. Because the BBC‘s format seems to allow for BBC editors to rig the discussion against Corbyn. They will have significant power over the questions and participants involved in the debate”

Not only that: Already we have learned that the BBC apparently hired an actress who runs her own tiny internet church to speak in favour of Mrs May on Newsnight debates. Social media commentators have already linked this behaviour with the debate challenge:

Now it seems the BBC has been discussing the challenge that Mrs May sprang on Mr Corbyn – not-so-spontaneously, it seems – for many weeks.

Why else would the Tories plan TV appearances hosted by the BBC’s David Dimbleby, including a “Question Time style session” and brief the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph about it on Monday (November 26)?

Commentators are already concluding that the BBC is colluding with the Conservative Party – so much for the Corporation’s claims of impartiality! – to build support for her Brexit deal and run Labour down:

Some have resorted to satire:

While others have aimed sharper barbs:

Personally, I like this comment, which bypasses the silliness of the BBC and ITV jostling for position and goes straight to the heart of the matter:

He’s right.

But then, we’re discussing Brexit – a situation in which the elected leaders of the United Kingdom have vowed to follow the wish of a majority of voters in a referendum, even though they know there is no possible outcome in which the country will be better-off as a result of it.

No part of Brexit makes any sense at all. Why should this be any different?

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