An ultra-Remainer former quango chief will receive a huge pay-off from the taxpayer despite being sacked for openly criticising the government on Brexit. Former Economist editor Bill Emmott became head of Ofcom’s Content Board in 2015; as a journalist Emmott proposed extending the single market, advocated a new EU ‘energy union’ and made an anti-Brexit film for the BBC called The Great European Disaster Movie. He is a properly fanatical Europhile…
The following year Emmott was let go having given an interview to an Italian newspaper headlined: “Outside Europe the UK dies”. He had also tweeted: “Prediction: Jeremy Corbyn will be Britain’s PM by 2020. Boris’s legacy” and “Gove scaremongers on migration free-for-all”. Ofcom bosses are subject to strict impartiality guidelines, all the more crucial in a referendum year…
Emmott took the government to the High Court over the circumstances of his departure and was granted a judicial review. Last month DCMS sneaked out a backpedalling statement:
“The parties now recognise that his departure from the post reflected changed circumstances since his recruitment and have agreed formal terms to resolve the dispute between them.”
Matt Hancock’s department has now agreed to pay a substantial sum in compensation, which Guido understands could be up to £80,000. An arch-Remainer paid off with your cash despite clearing bringing Ofcom into disrepute with his blatant anti-Brexit bias…
Outers will not be reassured by the news that Ofcom have appointed fanatical Europhile Bill Emmott to their board. Readers will remember Emmott as the ex-Economist editor who was blasted by IPSO for making a spurious claim against the Telegraph, when he wrongly accused them of publishing inaccuracies about the EU. IPSO threw out Emmott’s whinge, finding the piece was in fact perfectly accurate.
In addition to joining the Ofcom board, Emmott will also chair their ‘Content Board’, which “sets and enforces quality and standards for television and radio”. Given Emmott’s record of making false claims against the media about Europe, is he really the best man for the job in an EU referendum year?
UPDATE: Emmott was also the Executive Producer of the BBC pro-EU propaganda film ‘The Great European Disaster Movie’. Expect this one to run…
UPDATE II: An Ofcom spokesperson has got in touch with Guido to say: “Any conflicts of interest involving non-executive Board members are managed appropriately and Bill Emmott would not be involved in discussions related to the EU referendum”.
The press regulator has dismissed a spurious complaint brought against the Telegraph by Bill Emmott, ex-editor of the Economist. Emmott claimed in a long whinge that Toby Young’s review of his ‘Great European Disaster Movie’, a piece of swivel-eyed, pro-EU propaganda broadcast by the BBC last year, contained a string of inaccuracies. Despite it being a TV review and obviously an opinion piece.
This is what IPSO found:
“The article under complaint was a television review, and was clearly signalled as such in both style and positioning. Readers would therefore understand that it represented the columnist’s personal interpretation of the film.
The points made by the columnist were his interpretation of the information which had been presented and the newspaper was able to explain, by reference to material contained in the documentary, the basis for the columnist’s views. Given the nature of the piece, the Committee did not consider that there had been a failure to take care not to publish inaccurate information, not did it establish the existence of any inaccuracies requiring correction.”
You can enjoy the full, accurate article here.
Toby tells MediaGuido:
“Eurosceptics will have to get used to vexatious complaints like this from swivel-eyed europhiles in the run up to the referendum. Thank God IPSO came to the right conclusion.”