In a year of unprecedented scrutiny of the BBC, the broadcaster’s coverage has fallen far short of what it was promised by its owners.
As the fire engulfed the Tower block, BBC Newsnight showed the first live coverage of events from the ground floor of the building, with a presenter saying that “the fire is burning, it’s a tragedy”.
But the programme never went to ground and when it did, it was barely seen on a small screen in the studio.
In the following days, the BBC showed no live coverage and a separate segment on the fire was also absent.
BBC News coverage of Grenfell on live TV, by contrast, was extensive and on the front page of every day’s newspaper and on TV and radio news programmes across the UK.
It was not until more than a week after the fire began that the BBC aired a segment on how to protect yourself from the spread of the fire, which is a key point.
But the lack of coverage of these events is at odds with what was promised from the owners of the corporation, and in particular, Lord Ashcroft.
Lord Ashbridge said at the time of the disaster that the programme was “not a show for people to be exposed to”.
This is an appalling lie.
The BBC’s website, with its focus on reporting on issues affecting people in the UK, shows its coverage of issues from homelessness to climate change.
In this case, we are being shown an event that happened in the same week of the attack that the corporation was being run.
The fact that the network was able to get live coverage despite the attack, and despite the fact that it was not on the air, speaks volumes about the lack and incompetence of the Corporation’s management.
We need to know what went wrong in this case and what steps are being taken to correct it.
A BBC spokesperson said: The BBC does not have a live feed of the events in the Tower.
However, we have shown a series of live coverage from the building on BBC News and BBC World.
These have included a live report of the evacuation from Grenfell, and we are working with local residents and emergency services.
BBC One is still running an edited version of its coverage, which shows the building’s firefighting efforts.
We have shown this on a limited number of occasions in the past.
Our reporting team have spent months in the building and have been there on the ground.
There has been a huge amount of information in this report.
We will continue to show this.
We would like to apologise for the time and effort it has taken to prepare this report and to make sure that the public gets the most up-to-date information.