POLITICS
02/03/2015 08:57 GMT | Updated 02/03/2015 10:59 GMT

BBC Denies Ukip Claim EU Money Was Used To Make 'The Great European Disaster Movie' Mockumentary

The BBC has denied Ukip's insinuation it was paid by the EU to make a mockumentary envisaging an apocalyptic future where Nigel Farage was prime minister.

The Eurosceptics implied the corporation used the money to make The Great European Disaster Movie, which aired on BBC 4 on Sunday night. It showed Prime Minister Nigel Farage deporting recent immigrants from "Greater England" as Spain isolates itself and Islamic State (IS) marches on Vienna after the collapse of the EU.

Ukip said the BBC should have "an EU logo" on it, to advertise that it receives money.

The broadcaster, which is compelled by its charter to be impartial, said: "No EU money was used in the making of the programme being aired on the BBC. Impartiality is of paramount importance for the BBC.

"This fictional programme reflects the author’s vision. BBC editorial guidelines do not prevent the acquisition of independent programmes which approach subjects from a particular perspective.”

Bill Emmott, who was executive producer of the film, called Ukip's claim "a lie" and said the production company that produced the film only received EU money for translating it into other languages.

He tweeted Ukip MP Mark Reckless, who was quoted as having said the BBC received EU money for the film.

Steven Woolfe, Ukip MEP and its immigration spokesman, said "BBC bias in favour of the EU 'project' has been obvious for years", saying the corporation received £22million from the EU over seven years.

He added: "Figures on the Financial Transparency website of the European Commission now indicate just how deeply the BBC benefits from the goodwill of the EU elite. Between 2007 and 2013 the BBC was paid more than £22m by the European Union.

"These funds are not identified as EU money in the BBC's annual report. It is clear that some management in the BBC believe the supposedly independent news organisation must act as a propaganda agent for the EU."

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The BBC says none of this money goes into its current affairs programming and says details of them money is available in the annual report. Its annual budget is around £4.7billion.

In response to Ukip, a Twitter user pointed out that, as a political party represented in the EU parliament, the party received EU money - without placing an EU symbol on its logo.

Ukip's claims about the BBC echo those made by its supporters about Channel 4 last month, which also aired a mockumentary last month about the first 100 days of a Ukip government, showing riots and chaos.

The website "Bloggers for Ukip" wrote: "Not that balance is anything Channel 4 could be accused of, of course - they aren't just funded by the UK taxpayer, they're also funded by the EU and an active member of the European Broadcasting Union, the EU quango responsible for the farcical Eurovision Song Contest.

"Nor could you expect balance from RAW [Productions, which made the Channel 4 mockumentary] who are funded by Creative Europe, part of the EU Commission."