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The British government’s independent advisor on antisemitism met with the head of the BBC to discuss the criticism the public broadcaster has faced over its coverage of the Jewish community, the UK Jewish News reported.

In the one-hour meeting at BBC Broadcasting House on Wednesday, Antisemitism Advisor John Mann told BBC Director General Tim Davie that he had “major concerns” over the way the BBC reports on issues that involve the Jewish community.

Mann, a former Labour MP, reportedly said to Davie that he believed there may be a “real problem” with BBC news coverage when it comes to stories that involve antisemitism.

Mann pressed Davie to explain coverage of the Jewish community on the BBC’s website and also the much criticized way that it reported on the antisemitic attack on the Hanukkah bus which took place in November.

While the BBC claimed that a passenger on the bus of Jewish youths which was attacked by a mob of violent teenagers used an anti-Muslim slur, Metropolitan Police found no evidence to support the BBC's accusation.

Yet, after receiving many complaints, the BBC edited their online coverage only to say that the BBC believed that one anti-Muslim slur could be heard coming from the bus. This claim was then repeated on a BBC London broadcast.

It was reported shortly thereafter that the president of the UK Board of Deputies Marie van der Zyl was to meet with Davie in early 2022 to discuss the BBC’s coverage of the attack.

Mann was also said to have spoken to Davie about the BBC’s reporting of the Colleyville synagogue hostage incident.

In the BBC News at 10 coverage of the hostage crisis, the word “antisemitism” was never used.

Van der Zyl is expected to meet with Davie later in January.

The BBC’s coverage of the Hanukkah bus attack resulted in hundreds of complaints from members of the Jewish community. The issue has been sent to an independent review committee by BBC executives.

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