THE BBC has apologised for calling Reform UK “far right”.

The broadcaster had used the label to describe the party founded by Nigel Farage in an article on the LibDems’ conference which was published on Saturday, March 16.

Five days earlier, on March 11, former Tory depute chair Lee Anderson defected to Reform, giving the party its first MP.

The BBC reported: “The LibDems are targeting seats including those held by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Communities Secretary Michael Gove.

“But it has been suggested by some polls that far-right Reform UK has overtaken the Lib Dems in terms of popularity.”

READ MORE: Owen Jones meets Humza Yousaf: Gaza, Keir Starmer, Scottish independence and more

On Monday, the BBC issued an apology and blamed the use of the language on “news agency copy”.

The BBC statement said: “In an article about the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference we wrongly described the political party Reform UK as far right when referring to polling.

“This sentence was subsequently removed from the article as it fell short of our usual editorial standards.

“While the original wording was based on news agency copy, we take full responsibility and apologise for the error.”

A story published by the PA news agency on March 16 also contained the phrase. It said: “Sir Ed [Davey] has the seats of some of the top Conservative cabinet ministers in his sights, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Godalming and Ash and Communities Secretary Michael Gove’s Surrey Heath.

“But some polls suggest the far-right Reform UK party has overtaken the LibDems in popularity across the UK.”

Richard Tice, who is nominally the leader of Reform UK – which is registered with Companies House as being controlled by Farage, told GB News that lawyers were in touch with the BBC.

He added that he saw the description as "defamatory".