The BBC has defended its policy of using the term Islamic State when referring to the blood-soaked terrorists that claimed the lives of 30 Britons in Tunisia and tens of thousands of people in the Middle East.

Islamic State, it has informed a group of 120 MPs who signed a letter calling on the broadcaster to drop the term as it encourages its supporters, is the name used by the terror group, and, the BBC says, it wishes to remain “impartial” in its coverage.

The BBC is, you may know, the only organisation other than the terror body itself, that uses the term Islamic State. Security forces as well as countries such as France and Turkey use the term ISIL or the insulting Arabic term Daesh which is disliked by the terrorists.

You may not know that of course as the BBC makes up 80 per cent of the news coverage digested by all of us in the UK. You would be forgiven then for thinking that Islamic State is the accepted way of addressing the people who send gunmen to slaughter innocent holidaymakers or teenage suicide bombers to kill civilians.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC director general, explained that the broadcaster needed to “preserve its impartiality.” It would not use Daesh, said Lord Hall, because the term was “pejorative,” in other words, insulting to the killers. Let us step back from that statement for one moment and consider its reasoning.

Certainly I would contend that the BBC is here confusing impartiality with accuracy. It is accurate to call the terrorists by the name they wish to be known by. But to continue to do so even when such an organisation is responsible for killing the citizens of the country you represent is spitting in the faces of those who have lost loved ones.

Why then does the BBC act in such a way to its own people?

And the answer is one I have long argued: that the BBC simply no longer sees itself as representing Britain. We may pay the licence fee – in rapidly reducing numbers if figures for those opting to watch only catch-up TV on computers released this week are an indicator – but the Beeb sees no reason why that should require it to take sides.

We have been heading this way for some time. At the height of the war in Afghanistan I recall an exclusive Ten O’clock News interview with a Taliban leader in his bolthole where he was given free rein to wax lyrically regarding the deaths of British soldiers. It was pure propaganda for the army we were at war with. No attempt was made to balance the report, no one from the Ministry of Defence or the Government in the UK were offered the chance to respond.

As far as I am aware not one complaint was made to the BBC following the report. Emboldened by its ‘impartiality’ it has continued to the point where today we find it openly admitting it wishes to be fair to the terrorists who slaughter British women and children on beaches.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the war Britain carried out, at times alone in the world, against the evil that was Nazi Germany.

Anyone listening to BBC news reports from those desperate times will often hear insulting terms used to describe the Nazis and their leaders.

All I can say is thank goodness we didn’t have the BBC of today back then.