BBC didn’t ‘censor’ footage of Brexit march

31 January 2023
What was claimed

Footage of a million people attending the People’s Vote march in March 2019 was censored by BBC News at the time but has now been released by BBC Politics.

Our verdict

BBC Politics published the aerial footage on the day of the march, and it was featured as a lead item on the BBC News website and TV programmes.

A claim that the BBC censored footage from a 2019 march held by supporters of a second EU referendum in London has been shared more than 2,000 times on social media. 

The tweet, which has also been shared on Facebook, claims: “Extraordinary footage tracking a million people demanding a new Brexit vote. Now released by @BBCPolitics but censored from @BBCNews at the time.”

The video referenced in the caption is aerial footage of the march, organised by the People’s Vote campaign group, winding through central London. But this footage was not censored. 

In fact, by clicking through to the source of the video on Twitter, it's possible to see that the video was posted by the official BBC Politics account on 23 March 2019, the day of the march

It was also posted to the BBC News website on the same day. 

Archived pages show that news of the march appeared on the main BBC News homepage throughout the day, and it was the lead item on the BBC’s UK politics page. 

The footage and story also led the BBC’s TV news coverage at 6pm and 10pm

Organisers claimed at the time that approximately a million people had joined the march, but as we wrote in 2019 this was not independently verified. An expert in crowd estimation said the attendance was likely to have been between 312,000 and 400,000 people. 

Image courtesy of Keith Edkins

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