Statistics on Immigration Twisted

Published: 20 February 2014

Country: UK


By quoting the new YouGov research, Daily Express wrote on its front page on 17th of February: “70 per cent of Britons says we must ban new migrants”. But the figure is wrong. YouGov survey shows that 21% of UK population want immigration to be banned.

The newspaper played with the figures by adding the percentages of respondents who answered that immigration should be reduced (49%) and these who want it to be stopped completely (21%). In the same time, Channel 5 broadcast a debate on immigration proving the lack of editorial responsibility and inclusiveness.

Not only that Daily Express didn’t mention 20% of UK citizens who think immigration level should remain the same, but it failed to outline a balanced dialogue, without including any immigrant’s opinion. The article has only quoted political representatives of Consrevatives and UKIP party.

Chanel 5, using the same YouGov survey as the starting point, broadcasted the debate “British Immigration Row” asking if “Britain is full?”.

Many different data, some of them being false, generalisations and discriminatory quotes were the main protagonists of the programme apart of its controversial guests. With panel members shouting one over each other and total lack of control, it was very difficult to distinguish and judge the arguments and form opinion.

uk_border_smaller_picPanel guest and journalist for Telegraph,Tim Stanley, wrote: wasn’t a debate or a conversation – it was a “row”. And I mean the kind of row that starts in a pub with a misunderstanding about who was first in line to order a pint and ends up in the car park with one man stabbing another man to death with a broken bottle”.

The public was very active on social media especially Twitter commenting the programme’s highlights (#britishimmigrationrow), including racist quotes but also the interview of Mr Choudary. Steve Rose, writer and blogger,tweeted “Reprehensible for Channel 5 to even interview Anjem Choudary. No justification. #bigimmigrationrow”.

The 2 – hour discussion was mainly on the financial aspect of immigration and whether and how much it has its impact on NHS and benefits system, housing shortage and schools.