BBC president Richard Sharp said MacTaggart teacher Emily Maitlis was “dead wrong” to say due process was not followed after her now-infamous Dominic Cummings. news night rant.
Maitlis, who has now left the BBC and runs a global podcast, made the comments during last month’s Edinburgh Television Festival speech, stating that the BBC had “tried to defuse the complaint” immediately, thus I did not agree.
Speaking before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee this morning, Sharp said she was “completely wrong” in saying due process was not followed.
“Although I thought the issues raised were worthwhile, I disagree with his view of impartiality, which may mean that he led with opinion, not fact. We found news night had appropriately addressed the issue because she led with her opinions.”
The now-infamous opening segment began with Maitlis claiming “Dominic Cummings broke the rules” after Boris Johnson’s former adviser was accused of breaking lockdown rules and traveling to Barnard Castle in the middle of the first lockdown.
Maitlis and her news night The team was quickly reprimanded for what was seen as a breach of impartiality.
Sitting next to Sharp, BBC Director General Tim Davie said the BBC made “unequivocally the right decision”.
“I can tell you categorically that getting a call from a politician doesn’t make us say ‘we have to change something,'” he added. “I have looked at this in detail. There was a proper discussion and a call was made. I’m sorry we’re in a different position than Emily, but that’s what happens.”
Sharp also rejected MacTaggart’s claim by Prince Andrew Maitlis’s interviewer that an “agent of the Conservative Party” is currently sitting on the BBC’s Board, namely Sir Robbie Gibb, who allegedly lobbied the Board to block the appointment of a news journalist who believed to be too critical of the government.
“You can’t characterize our most recent appointments as one type,” Sharp added.