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BBC apologises after mixing up two black MPs in Parliament

BBC apologises after mixing up two black MPs in Parliament

Labour MP Marsha de Cordova has blasted the broadcaster, saying black women are confused for one another due to structural racism.

Treasury and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch was miscaptioned as Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities Marsha de Cordova during an Urgent Question in the Commons on Monday.

A statement from the broadcaster claimed the captioner ‘took too long to realise the names were out of order on the Order Paper’.

Ms de Cordova was briefly miscaptioned as Ms Badenoch in the same broadcast – an incident that has been blamed on a time lag between the speaker and the caption changing.

Ms de Cordova has blasted the BBC, saying black women are confused for one another due to structural racism.

In a tweet, the Battersea MP said: ‘The irony that this question saw the Minister deny that structural racism exists.

‘While we’re confused for each other because there are so few Black women in Parliament…

‘This is the second time this has happened to me, broadcasters need to do better @BBCParliament’.

However, an Equality Hub spokesperson said the incident was ‘clearly an honest mistake’.

The BBC said the captioner took too long to realise the list of names on the Order Paper

The BBC blamed the second incident on a ‘time lag’


A statement sent to Metro.co.uk read: ‘This was clearly an honest mistake, for which the BBC has apologised.

‘More broadly, this Government is committed to tackling actual racism, where it exists, and following the data to understand how we can build a more cohesive society and address racial disparities.’

It comes after the BBC confused Ms de Cordova with fellow Labour MP Dawn Butler last year.

Kobe Bryant fans were also left outraged last year as BBC News at 10 confused the late star for LeBron James in coverage of his death.

The broadcaster came under fire last night from a number of people who claimed the mistake would not have happened if the MPs had been white.

A Twitter user named Pete said: ‘These things happen is not good enough. I’m proud of the BBC too which is why I hold them to account when they do something so poor as this.

‘Frankly, it would never have happened if it were two white men in debate. It shows an institutional lack of respect. Things must change.’

Someone called Ashley added: ‘It’s interesting, I’ve never seen them make this mistake with white MPs.’


A statement from the BBC’s press team said they wanted to ‘sincerely apologise for the error’.

It read: ‘An apology: earlier today on BBC Parliament we mis-captioned Kemi Badenoch as Marsha de Cordova during an Urgent Question.

‘The captioner had been following the list of names on the Order Paper but took too long to realise they were out of sequence and correct their mistake.

‘We sincerely apologise for this error and have apologised directly to both MPs involved. The corrected version will appear later this evening and on iPlayer.’

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