The director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, has rejected demands from a cross-party group of MPs, including Boris Johnson and Alex Salmond, to stop the broadcaster using the term "Islamic State" to refer to the terrorist group.

The MPs made their demand in a letter following criticism of the BBC from David Cameron, who used an appearance on the Today programme on Monday to suggest that Muslim listeners would "recoil every time they hear the words Islamic State" to refer to its "appalling, barbarous regime".

Initiated by Rehman Chishti, the Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham, the letter urged the BBC to instead adopt the term "Daesh", based on Arabic acronym al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa'al Sham, which translates as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Syria), but is close to "Dahes" or "one who sows discord". It was signed by 120 MPs including the London mayor Boris Johnson and chair of the home affairs select committee Keith Vaz.

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