Robert Peston opens up on impartiality- is he Labour or Tory supporter? F***ed things up

Rishi Sunak grilled by Robert Peston on ‘levelling up’

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Robert Peston has had a long career in journalism, having first broke into the industry in 1983 with his work predominantly covering business and financial news before switching to tackle political stories. Although as a broadcaster he tries to keep his own views out of the spotlight, explores his true political allegiances.

When questioned about his political views Robert Peston is keen to stress the importance of being an “impartial” political journalist.

But little slips along the way might point to his true political feelings.

In his 2020 Cudlipp Lecture Mr Peston describes himself as “someone who has tried to practice impartial journalism my professional life.”

But he admits that “I’ve f***ed things up far too many times for comfort.”

He insists that impartial journalism is essential, he said: “We have to rescue impartial journalism from possible oblivion.”

Despite this, Mr Peston has been accused of bias by several high profile political figures – most notably Seamus Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s former Head of Communications, who is said to have texted the journalist accusing him of ‘slanted editorialising’.

Mr Milne pointed to the political editor’s interview with the UK Chief Rabbi following his intervention in the 2019 General Election against Jeremy Corbyn and accused him of not being “remotely fair or balanced” even though Mr Peston maintains that the interview was impartial.

Mr Peston said he has been open about his Jewish heritage in reporting the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism allegations.

The text read: “Your reporting on Labour has not been remotely fair or balanced and included a high degree of slanted editorialising, reaching a low point in your broadcast on the 10 on 26/11”.

Mr Peston said he hasn’t been a member of a political party since he was 24 “because I never wanted to be seen as a pamphleteer or propagandist”.

He explained: “But although I can credibly claim not to show sympathies for any particular party, there are some facts about me that condition how I am seen and that I’ve chosen not to hide.”

Mr Peston’s father was a Labour life peer, a fact he doesn’t attempt to shield, but he insists he doesn’t show any “sympathies for any particular party.”

He also revealed as a child he wanted to become Prime Minister, but of course, he didn’t reveal as leader of which party.

What are Robert Peston’s views on Brexit?

Although it may be hard to establish Mr Peston’s party politics, his views on Brexit may be a little clearer.

In his coverage of Brexit, he said: “Leaving the EU could make us poorer.”

Why does Robert Peston remain impartial?

Clearly, by his own admission, Mr Peston strongly believes in political neutrality when he conducts his political coverage, but as a broadcaster, Ofcom’s rules also compel him to be impartial.

Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK, which reviews aspects of TV coverage.

Ofcom states that broadcasters have to follow rules around “due impartiality.”

They state: “‘Due’ is an important qualification to the concept of impartiality. Impartiality itself means not favouring one side over another.”

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