The battle lines between the BBC and its former star news presenter Emily Maitlis continue to be drawn, with BBC insiders lending their support after she claimed a BBC board member had interfered in editorial matters as “an active agent” of the Conservative party.
After Maitlis made the claim in her lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival this week, referring to Robbie Gibb but without naming him – in the context of the BBC making a swift apology and rebuking her after she made political comments on air – The Times reports insiders at the Corporation sharing the same concerns about Gibb’s intrusion into editorial matters.
Before taking his place on the board, Gibb – who used to be the editor of the BBC’s live political programmes – was an aide of former prime minister Theresa May. Now The Times quotes Maitlis’s view on his interference as “widely shared” by her former colleagues, who consider his political allegiance makes it impossible for him to be as impartial as his role requires.
Allies of Gibb have also spoken out – including his former colleague Sean O’Grady writing this weekend in another British newspaper, The Independent, that Gibb was able to keep his political opinions “in check”.
Another BBC boss Charlotte Moore used her platform at the Edinburgh TV Festival to reject Maitlis’s claims, saying that all protocols had been followed in its treatment of the apology after the presenter spoke out.
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