Today presenter Humphrys admits BBC has shown liberal bias

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The BBC has been “broadly liberal”, not balanced on issues such as Europe and immigration and “grotesquely over-managed”, its own presenter John Humphrys has said.

Humphrys said he had voted for “most political parties,” but admitted: “The BBC has tended over the years to be broadly liberal as opposed to broadly conservative for all sorts of perfectly understandable reasons.

“The sort of people we’ve recruited – the best and the brightest – tended to come from universities and backgrounds where they’re more likely to hold broadly liberal views than conservative.”

He said the corporation had made mistakes in the way it covered Europe and immigration but added that the BBC was now more balanced.

“We weren’t sufficiently sceptical – that’s the most accurate phrase – of the pro-European case. We bought into the European ideal,” he said.

“We weren’t sufficiently sceptical about the pro-immigration argument. We didn’t look at the potential negatives with sufficient rigour.

“I think we’re out of that now. I think we have changed.”

Humphrys said more needed to be done to cut down on excessive BBC management.

“There are too many of them. I think they think that. I think (director-general) Tony Hall thinks that – I don’t know, I haven’t asked him, but I think he thinks that,” he added.

“Over the years we’ve been grotesquely over-managed, there’s no question.

“They’re now getting a grip on it. A lot have gone. I think more need to go.”

Humphrys said further resources should be devoted to Radio 4 flagship show Today, the “most important BBC programme”, because “we’re as pared down as it’s possible to get” and that the programme needed to recruit more women presenters.