BBC director of news Helen Boaden has hit back at Tory press chief Guy Black over his attack on the corporation following a programme about heckling.The BBC is seriously divorced from reality. What kind of "objective" media company assist those who are interfering with a candidates right to speak?
Ms Boaden has sent a letter to Mr Black following an inquiry into the circumstances that led a documentary film crew to encourage hecklers to shout slogans during one of Michael Howard's election campaign meetings.
Accused by Mr Black of breaching BBC guidelines on "surreptitious recording" Ms Boaden defended the corporation and refused to apologise - accusing him of blowing "the whole episode out of all proportion".
In the letter, seen by MediaGuardian.co.uk, Ms Boaden says: "I regret the fact that you chose to put a complaint you knew we were investigating into the public domain before we had a chance to get back to you. That is not a helpful way to do business.
"The effect is to take the whole episode out of all proportion as you will see when the programme is broadcast. Moreover, what happened is considerably less sinister than you fear and than the newspapers have portrayed on the basis of the information you gave them."