Emma Barnett

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Person.png Emma Barnett   Amazon Instagram TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(journalist, broadcaster)
Emma Barnett.jpg
Born5 February 1985
Alma materManchester High School for Girls, University of Nottingham

Emma Barnett is a British broadcaster and journalist who presents Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.

A former Digital Media and Women Editor for The Daily Telegraph and columnist for The Sunday Times, Emma Barnett has co-presented Sunday Morning Live on BBC One with Sean Fletcher. In August 2017, Emma Barnett was controversially invited to guest-present two editions of BBC Newsnight.[1]

Since October 2017, Emma Barnett has co-presented ITV's After The News and, in March 2019, the BBC confirmed that she would join Newsnight as a regular presenter.[2]


From an Orthodox Jewish background, though not herself especially observant,[3] and with an ambivalence about both Orthodox and Reform Judaism,[4] Emma Barnett has described herself as a "Jew in disguise".[5]

"Rude and aggressive"

Craig Murray writes:

"High Tory, ex Daily Telegraph and Murdoch, expensive private school, Emma Barnett is BBC Politics’ rising star and stood in as host of the BBC flagship Marr programme on Sunday 20 May 2018. She was there rude and aggressive to Labour’s Barry Gardiner. The “highlight” of her career so far was during the general election when on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour she demanded instant top of the head recall of complicated figures from Jeremy Corbyn, a ploy the BBC never turns on the Tories.
"The most interesting fact about Emma Barnett is that her exclusive private education was funded by her parents who were pimps and brothel keepers on a large scale, for which both were convicted.[6]
"I know of no compelling evidence as to whether Barnett was, or was not, complicit in her parents’ activities, which financed her education into adulthood. But that this background is interesting and unusual is not in doubt. However the MSM’s image protector, 'Philip Cross', has been assiduous in, again and again, deleting the information about Barnett’s parents from Wikipedia. Not only has Cross deleted the referenced information of her parents being brothel-keepers, he has repeatedly inserted the ludicrous euphemisms that her father was a “businessman” and her mother a “housewife”.[7]
"Cross has also deleted references to Barnett – who wrote for the Telegraph and then for Murdoch’s Times, being “right wing”. He has instead inserted claims that criticisms of Emma Barnett following her aggressive Corbyn interview were “anti-semitic”, in a classic Cross move to undermine any left-wing point. Naturally he had references from the Times and the Guardian – evidence free articles – to back up these claims – and naturally from journalists whose Wikipedia pages Cross curates. You get the circle?[8]
"On 21 June 2017 editor Alfonz-kiki complained that Cross’s continual whitewashing of Barnett’s entry was by “paid PR”. He pointed out that he had references on her parents’ brothels from the BBC and the Daily Telegraph. Alfonz-kiki is one of scores to have separately noticed and complained of Cross’s activities over years, but Cross has been defended by Wikipedia again and again and again.
"Barnett is demonstrably right wing from her Murdoch and Telegraph columns. Her expensive private education – which got her where she is – was undeniably paid for by the proceeds of prostitution and by the trafficking in persons that led to the operation being closed down. But 'Philip Cross' makes sure you can see none of that on Wikipedia.
"In case you are saying that Cross is justified, Barnett’s parents activities were not her fault and ought not be on her Wikipedia page, let me remind you of one thing. The same 'Philip Cross' edited my own Wikipedia page to state that my wife Nadira used to be a stripper, sourced to the Mail. Cross abuses family information, as all other information, to defame dissidents or to burnish Establishment defenders, not according to a moral code."[9]

Cornering Corbyn

In May 2017, Emma Barnett was accused of being a “Zionist” after she cornered Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Woman's Hour, as part of the UK/2017 General Election cycle, about the cost of providing the Labour manifesto's childcare proposals:

Barnett: “How much will it cost to provide un-means tested childcare for 1.3m children?”
Corbyn: “Um, it will cost…It will cost a lot to do so we accept that…”
Barnett: “I presume you have the figures."
Corbyn: "Yes I do. It does cost a lot to do it, the point I’m trying to make is that we are making it universal so we are in a position to make sure that every child gets it and those that at the moment get free places will continue to get them. Those that have to pay won’t and we will collect the money through taxation, mainly through corporate taxation.”
Barnett: “So how much will it cost?”
Corbyn: “I’ll give you the figure in a moment."
Barnett: You don’t know it, you’re logging into your iPad here. You’ve announced a major policy and you don’t know how much it will cost."
Corbyn: Can I give you the exact figure in a moment?”
Barnett: “Is not the exact issue people have with the Labour Party which came up under Gordon Brown that we cannot trust you with our money?”
Corbyn: “Not at all.”
Barnett: “You don’t know the figure.”
Corbyn: “All of our manifesto is fully costed and examined.”
Barnett: “You’re holding your manifesto, you’re flicking through it, you’ve got an iPad there, you’ve had a phone call while we’re in here and you don’t know much it will cost."
Corbyn: Can I give you the exact figure in a moment?”[10]

Critical tweets

Many Labour supporters tweeted criticism of Barnett, some of which was considered antisemitic in nature.[11][12] Former Channel 4 economics editor Paul Mason also criticised her saying:

“You repeatedly editorialised in a way no trained BBC journalist would, dropping in your own views/unsubstantiated claim.”[13]

Other journalistic colleagues came to Barnett’s defence. Former political editor of The Independent on Sunday Jane Merrick said:

“Emma Barnett is a brilliant journalist, as shown by her forensic questioning of Corbyn this morning. Maybe she should have the Paxo slot?”

Corbyn later defended Barnett saying:

“Journalists do a job that does require asking difficult questions . . . Under no circumstances whatsoever should anyone throw personal abuse at anyone else because they are doing the job that they have been employed to do and I will not tolerate it.”[14]


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