BBC slammed after rewording Boris Johnson's despicable 'let the bodies pile high' quote to sound far less damaging

Credits: Bywire News (Canva)
Credits: Bywire News (Canva)
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LONDON (Bywire News)- The BBC has been criticised on social media after rewording prime minister Boris Johnson's highly controversial comments about letting "the bodies pile high in their thousands" to a completely different statement that sounds far less damaging.

On Sunday, the Daily Mail alleged that the PM had made the "incendiary remark" that he would prefer to "let the bodies pile high in their thousands" rather than implement a third lockdown in the UK.

Despite categorical denials from Downing Street throughout the course of Monday, the veracity of Johnson's alleged comments have been confirmed by multiple sources, including ITV's Robert Peston - whose article headline categorically states that Boris Johnson 'did make' the alleged comments.

The quote attributed to Johnson in all of ITV's coverage uses precisely the same wording as reported in the Daily Mail front page scoop last night - that Johnson said "let the bodies pile high in their thousands".

However, the BBC’s report claims that the prime minister said something completely different.

In their coverage of the story, and in a tweet from the BBC News Twitter account, the UK state broadcaster has conveniently changed the wording to something which sounds much less offensive.

The BBC story, and a tweet on the BBC News Twitter account - both of which are still online at the time of publishing - claim:

"Prime Minister Boris Johnson did say "bodies could pile high" during heated lockdown discussion, BBC told".

And the first paragraph of the BBC article goes on to state that:

"Boris Johnson suggested that "bodies could pile high" during a heated discussion in No 10 in the autumn about lockdown, sources familiar with the conversation have told the BBC."



The BBC's use of the word "could" is a completely different wording to the phrase claimed everywhere else - and makes it sound as if the PM was making a prediction that people might die, rather than making the horrendously morbid statement which has been widely quoted. 



This bizarre anomaly was called out by numerous Twitter users - including Peter Jukes of Byline Times, who said:

"Hold on. According to @Peston and the @DailyMailUK the prime minister did say he would rather see "bodies pile high in their thousands" than order a third lockdown (as reported in the Daily Mail)"

Whilst writer Tim Ireland said:

"Nice bit of word judo there, The BBC. Would you care to pore over your remit and your commitment to us, the public, and revise your headline and article accordingly?"

And there were many more people who called out the BBC for their bizarre rewording of Mr Johnson's crass comments, too:







It is as yet unclear why the BBC have chosen to use a completely different, and far less damaging phrase to the one quoted by the original source of the story and by every other news outlet. But it is surely just a coincidence that their subtle change has dramatically altered the damaging words of the PM. 

It is also surely just a coincidence that Boris Johnson has recently installed two Tories to run the BBC - Tim Davie, a former Tory politician as the new BBC Director General, and Richard Sharp, a man who donated over £400k to the Tory party, he is the new BBC Chairman.

Bywire has contacted the BBC regarding the anomaly and we await a response. 


(Reporting and writing by Tom D. Rogers, editing by Michael O'Sullivan)


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