Tim Davey: BBC boss ‘ready to fire stars who break fairness rules’


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Tim Dewey said that party politics “is not the right place” for top politicians

BBC Director General Tim Davey has said that he would be prepared to sack presenters who commit major violations of unbiased guidelines on social media.

Mr Davey, who became DG earlier this month, said new social media rules would be announced in the coming weeks, and would apply to all employees.

“I am ready to take appropriate disciplinary action, all methods of termination,” Mr. Dewey said.

He said he would also be able to “remove people from Twitter” if necessary.

His comments have come after criticism from stars such as Gary Lineker, who has recently sparked controversy for sharing his political views on Twitter.

Responding to Mr. Dewey’s comments on Tuesday, The host of the match said: “I think only Twitter can remove people from Twitter.”

‘Hard action’

Mr. Dewey told MPs of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, “Enforcement actions will be very clear, we will be able to take disciplinary action, we will be able to remove people from Twitter. I know that people will take strict action on this. Want to see. ”

When pressed on how people can be removed from Twitter, he clarified that in some cases he would ask for his Twitter accounts to be suspended if they wanted to continue working for the BBC.

He told MPs that he would not participate in far-reaching action. “I know some people would like to fire me [people] immediately [when] There is a foot fault there, ”he said.

“I am sure that on your career and my career, sometimes we have not acted fully. So it will take a lot of enforcement. Sometimes one just needs to talk. More at other times There will be serious cases. “

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Gary Lineker has been criticized for sharing his political views on Twitter

It would not depend on the stature of the star involved in the action, but there would be a distinction between occasional contributors and those who are “the face of the BBC”, he said.

“Social media guidelines will clarify where the lines are. If someone is the face of the BBC, I feel that entering party politics is not the right place for me.”

  • Gary Lineker takes £ 400,000 BBC pay cut

When asked specifically about Lineker, Mr Dewey said the former footballer had always “got a brilliant twist of the phrase”, but “understands his responsibilities as a person within the BBC”.

He said: “We will issue social media guidelines that will be clear. I will note that Gary Lineker has stated very clearly in his recent statements, ‘I understand that I have responsibilities when working on the BBC’.”

“Those responsibilities will be clearly laid out. I am the director general so I am running the show now, and in my view, the party’s political statements are not right for the people that they are part of a fair news organization.”

‘Not about banning people’

In the past, there have been “some tweets and a few incidents” from BBC staff and presenters that “have not carried the BBC’s reputation for fairness to my mind”, Mr Davey said.

The new social media guidelines will cover people working in all areas of BBC programming, Mr Davey said.

“The bar will be higher for news and current affairs, but there will also be a bar for those working as BBC talent, across genres,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s about banning people on social media. We should stay there. I sincerely believe that fair reporting can contain fluorosomes. The idea is monotonous that it’s wrong.”

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Zoe Ball was the second top grosser on the BBC after lighters last year

Lineker topped the BBC’s most recent “star salary” list, with £ 1.75m in the 2019-20 financial year, but has announced it will pay 23% with an amount of £ 400,000.

The second biggest grosser was Zoe Ball, who was paid £ 1.36m to host the Radio 2 breakfast show.

The MPs asked Mr Dewey that Ball was paid three times the salary of Ken Bruce, the station’s mid-morning presenter, despite attracting fewer listeners.

Ball had lost nearly a million listeners since taking over from his predecessor Chris Evans, who was paid around £ 240,000 more than him.

Mr Dewey referred to the “historic rate for the Radio 2 Breakfast Show” and said that such prominent presenters were able to see “entertainment options on television and radio”.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I’ve inherited some of it. You’ve seen what we’ve done to Gary. I want to make sure we get the best value we can in the market, and where we can get better value.

“I have spent a lot of time over the years working in the international market, fighting for talent. There is an element of hyper-inflation, as all these services pile up, and it will be difficult to get people with TV personalities and profiles .

“I’m all for developing young talent and taking more risks or opportunities with talent development. But I think with some people, and that’s a very small number of people, we’re in a little bit of a market.”

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Andrew Neil announced over the weekend that he was leaving the BBC

Recent media reports have suggested that Ball will request a pay cut if he forgets his current contract in the coming weeks.

Davey said, “Especially with Zoe, he is an excellent broadcaster, we are in the Renaissance and we will move forward.”

Mr Dewey also addressed the departure of political interviewer Andrew Neil to become the face and president of the new TV channel GB News.

The Director-General said the issue was not the amount he had given Neil to live, but “what he wants to do with his life”.

He said: “Andrew has an excellent broadcaster. We had a nice chat, I made a good offer, she was a better one. We move on. He has been fantastic.”

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