Why don’t the BBC think a plot to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn is headline news?

By Patrick George

The man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park Mosque terrorist attack that killed one and injured nine more has admitted that he originally hired the van in order to assassinate the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – but, extraordinarily, the BBC don’t think this astonishing revelation is headline news.

The BBC have chosen to omit this from their headline despite the fact that the story is headline news on virtually every other news outlet in the entire country.

The plot to assassinate Corbyn is the headline on the Daily Mail website, the Guardian, Sky News, ITV News, The Independent, The Sun, The Daily Star, Yahoo News and even the Peeblesshire News.

Daily Mail Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
Sky News Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
ITV News Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
Daily Star Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
Yahoo News Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
Gazette Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
Independent Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
The Guardian Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
The Sun Headline - Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot
The Sun Headline – Jeremy Corbyn Assassination Plot

It is not, however, the headline on the BBC website – they have instead decided to focus on the innocuous side-story that the defendant now denies driving the van:

BBC Headline - Man Denies Driving Van
BBC Headline – Man Denies Driving Van

Whilst the defendant’s claim to have not been driving the van is certainly a new development in the story, it strikes Evolve as slightly peculiar that the focus of their coverage is not on a planned assassination attempt against a sitting leader of the opposition – a man who is odds on to become Britain’s next Prime Minister.

It is particularly peculiar given that the BBC article itself makes repeated references to the targeting of Corbyn – even quoting the alleged attacker who described killing Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan as “winning the jackpot.”

The disconnect between article and headline becomes more apparent when you read the defendant’s reasons for targeting Finsbury Park. He had originally planned to travel into central London, to the Al Quds march where Corbyn was slated to be. It was only after a roadblock that he travelled to Finsbury Park, because “It was Corbyn’s constituency.”

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Corbyn was clearly amongst the driving forces behind the attack. Whilst the attack was fueled by Islamophobia the accused seemed determined to target the Labour leader as a representative of Islam. This is clearly the major story given that it is the focus of the BBC coverage itself.

Which raises the question of why Corbyn is missing from the headline in favour of a non-detail about a particularly implausible denial.

Whilst articles are important, Evolve knows that headlines are unfortunately vital for conveying a story. Many of us lead busy lives and absorb information through these short sentences telling us what to think. For the many people flicking over the BBC News coverage they will miss out on the actual story in favour of the defendant’s denial.

The BBC is the only major news outlet to feature a Corbyn-free headline. Which regardless of intent feels like an effort to downplay the importance of Corbyn’s role in the story. The assassination attempt on Jeremy Corbyn may be the news, but it isn’t headline news, according to the BBC.

Evolve makes no allegations of foul play on the BBC’s part, however we understand that the question of who is “Dave” may be important to them. We simply doubt that a terror attack so clearly designed to attack a party leader would have not been the headline, unless it was Corbyn.

They clearly understand that it is the newsworthy part.