The BBC’s London headquarters have been doused in red paint, in apparent protest at the broadcaster’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

News journalist Victoria Derbyshire shared on social media a video of her arrival at the building in central London on Saturday morning, showing how read paint had been splashed across the revolving glass doors and walls at the front.

By the time she shared the video, the area had been cordoned off and cleaning was already taking place.

It has not been confirmed that the vandalism was in reaction to the broadcaster’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict, but security has been heightened across the city, with marches and protests by Palestinian supporters scheduled for later today.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are aware of criminal damage to a building in Portland Place, W1A. At this stage there is no suggestion this is linked to any protest group.

The BBC has come under scrutiny and criticism from the British government, for its refusal to use the term “terrorists” to describe Hamas. Yesterday’s flagship radio news Today programme saw presenter Mishal Hussain defending the BBC’s position to the Defence Secretary Grant Schapps, reminding him of the impartiality guidelines required by the regulator Ofcom, and rejecting his claims that the BBC had not reported sufficiently on the atrocities of last weekend.

Explaining the decision not to use the word in its coverage, a BBC spokesperson said this week: “Our coverage of the unprecedented assault on Israel by Hamas has made clear the nature of the atrocities committed and the impact this has had on civilians,’ the statement began.

“Across our reporting we have explained that Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by many Western governments, including the UK. We have reflected the response from the international community to Hamas’ actions, and featured contributors who have described them as terrorists.

“We have given careful consideration to all aspects of our reporting of the Israel-Gaza conflict, both in terms of Hamas’ attacks and Israel’s response – this includes the language that we use. The BBC is editorially independent; our role is to explain precisely what is happening so that the public can make their own judgements.

“Our longstanding position, including during previous conflicts between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, has been that we do not use the term “terrorist” without attribution, in line with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines.”

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