...and Safe for Truth


2nd December 2019

Complaint after BBC programme recommended Retrospective Legislation

Ken Petrie of the DDC has complained to the BBC about the behaviour of Justin Webb in this morning’s Today programme on Radio 4, in promoting a dangerously anti-democratic idea.

While interviewing Justice Secretary Robert Buckland Mr Webb suggested the government should use retrospective legislation. When the minister began to explain why retrospective legislation would be a serious departure in the Criminal Justice field Mr Webb immediately interrupted and shouted him down, preventing the objections to his idea being heard.

In his complaint, Mr Petrie made the point that retrospective legislation would strike “at the heart of a free democracy by potentially criminalising every citizen in future for something innocent they do today or have done in the past. As such it would be a direct threat to several basic human rights and could have no place in a civilised society.” He went on to argue that anyone who took such a stance as a representative of the BBC and refused to allow a contrary opinion to be heard would be abusing their position.

The BBC has yet to respond to the complaint.