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Tougher vetting on way for BBC guests

THE BBC is to consider ‘additional steps’ in vetting guests following criticism of its Conservative leadership TV debate.

Watchdog Ofcom received 31 complaints about Our Next Prime Minister, which featured questions from an imam who had made allegedly anti-Semitic comments and a former Labour council candidate.

Abdullah Patel (pictured) has been suspended from his mosque following the emergence of past tweets in which he said ‘every political figure on the Zionist’s payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn’.

Another guest, who asked when a general election could be expected, was later revealed to be a former Labour council candidate who had been employed by the party at its London headquarters. Aman Thakar has been suspended by his current employers, the law firm Leigh Day, over a tweet in which he wrote that Hitler’s most harmful legacy was his ‘abuse of the term nationalism’.

A BBC spokeswoman said the hour-long programme — watched by 5million people — was an ‘important contribution to the political debate’.

She added: ‘It is important to remember that a political debate programme will, by its very nature, attract people interested and engaged in issues who may well have been active in politics.’