Millennium Post

Columnist resigns from UK daily over HSBC coverage

One of Britain’s most prolific columnists has resigned as the chief political commentator for The Daily Telegraph, alleging that the newspaper buckled under management pressure to block coverage of the HSBC tax scandal. Peter Oborne accused the leading daily of “fraud on the readers” by deliberately suppressing stories about the banking giant and called for an independent review of the newspaper’s guidelines over its coverage of a series of revelations surrounding HSBC’s Swiss banking arm in the last few days.

“There are great issues here. They go to the heart of our democracy, and can no longer be ignored,” he said in an article on the ‘Open Democracy’ website. He specifically referred to a BBC Panorama investigation into HSBC aired last week which was “hardly mentioned” in the ‘Telegraph’ compared to other papers where it got “enormous play”.

He told the BBC: “The ‘Telegraph’ must now call an independent review.” “It can’t be done by the chief executive, he has been running the show, we need an independent outsider to come in and do a full assessment of the relationship between advertising and editorial. “A fraud is being perpetrated on ‘Telegraph’ readers who buy the paper expecting to get the news and instead get something that gives the impression it is vetted by the advertising department,” he said. Oborne, also associate editor of ‘Spectator’, alleged the paper had discouraged stories critical of HSBC since the start of 2013, when the bank suspended its advertising with the paper following a Telegraph investigation.
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