Peter Rippon, he of ill-fated Newsnight blog fame, has finally been given a new job at the Beeb. Rippon will be in charge of developing the BBC’s online archive, hoping to make 80 years of Beeb history available to the public. There may be one person missing…
The BBC hit straight back against this morning’s claim from the Tories that they had behaved disingenuously, briefing that they invited Maria Hutchings to the 5Live hustings as far back as last Wednesday. CCHQ sources are citing security reasons as an excuse for the confusion. They aren’t taking it lightly, Damian Green has just told Sky that “the BBC can be a bit self-important”, and a “jolly cross” Dave has berated the Beeb’s man on the ground, saying his bosses had “behaved badly and stupidly”.
Rather awkwardly, it appears there would have been time for Hutchings to do the debate and still be able to meet the PM…
UPDATE: Here is what Dave had to say:
“I think the BBC has behaved badly and stupidly over this from everything I’ve heard about it. My understanding is that we were discussing with you for ages beforehand about the timing of the hustings and the fact that Maria wanted to be with me for this meeting. This is a totally got up thing by the BBC. You know you’re not the most important thing in this by-election – the candidates are.”
Not the voters then…
The Tories are not happy with the BBC over the Maria Hutchings hustings no show. Kicking back, CCHQ say they made clear to the Beeb they were happy for Hutchings to take part in a live hustings, so long as it didn’t clash with Dave’s visit to Eastleigh today. Despite that last night 5Live briefed that Hutchings had said no and that they would empty-chair her. A particularly irate Tory source insists: “The BBC are being disingenuous, they are wilfully misleading listeners. We’re not quite sure how this fits with their code of integrity”. There is even talk of an official complaint. Either way, that doesn’t change the fact that their candidate was the only one missing this morning…
New BBC DG Tony Hall has announced a raft of changes to the Beeb’s senior team this morning. The stand out name is one James Purnell, the former Labour Work and Pensions secretary who famously quit the government in protest at the Prime Mentalist. He becomes the new Director of Strategy and Digital. Helen Boaden, suspended over the Jimmy Savile scandal, is made Director of Radio. Who says the BBC don’t look after their friends…
Just what is it with the BBC and forgetting to mention lefty vested interests? They’ve gone big this morning on a report claiming that millions of low-income households face a council tax rise. Just a few things they forgot to mention: The report is written by one Matthew Pennycock, funnily enough a Labour councillor in Greenwich. Not only that, Pennycock was formerly a parliamentary assistant to Labour foghorn Karen Buck. His past life is there for all to see on the pinko wonkshop’s website. For some reason the BBC omitted to mention that to their viewers…
Ex-BBC chief, turned boss of the New York Times, Mark Thompson, has written to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee once again claiming that during his last nine months at the Beeb he “never heard any allegations” about Jimmy Savile.
In his letter Thompson essentially says he expects the committee to believe a series of increasingly absurd notions:
1. That when he asked BBC head of news Helen Boaden in December 2011 what Newsnight’s investigation of Jimmy Savile was about she didn’t tell him.
2. That he never read or heard about any of the half dozen national newspaper and magazine stories alleging Savile’s sexual misdemeanour’s which were published in January and February 2012 and which made it clear this is what Newsnight had investigated. During his time at the BBC, Mark was a known Guido reader, who must have missed this one.
3. That when a Telegraph journalist emailed him in February 2012 asking if it was true that he knew about Newsnight’s Savile investigation he never got the message.
4. That when freelance journalist Miles Goslett rang Thompson’s office in May 2012 and told his chief of staff Jessica Cecil that Savile had apparently abused under-age girls on BBC premises in the 1970s Cecil did not tell him.
5. That when ITV wrote to him on 7 September 2012 informing him of their forthcoming documentary on Savile and repeating the allegations raised by Goslett he was not told.
6. Crucially, Thompson also asks the committee to believe that although he authorised law firm Mills & Reeve to send a letter to the Sunday Times on 6 September 2012 on his behalf threatening to sue the paper if it ran Goslett’s story, he was not fully aware what the story was and did not read the letter which the law firm sent.
Much of this beggars belief. Over to John Whittingdale…
Rejoicing over at the Beeb as Foreign Editor Jon Williams announces he is leaving and heading to ABC.
A “vile, shouty, aggressive man – we’re all delighted,” whispers one colleague to Media Guido.
Bye bye, then.
The BBC has had to apologise after airing a Tweenies repeat this morning in which a character dressed up as Jimmy Savile and used his catchphrase “now then, guys and gals”. Beeb own goal of the year so far…[…]