Pollard inquiry

BBC executives criticised for refusing to provide interviews over report transcripts

 

Broadcasters and politicians criticised senior BBC executives for refusing to give interviews in response to the evidence uncovered in the Pollard report transcripts.

Channel 4 News and other outlets requested an interview with Tim Davie, the acting BBC Director-General but were told that he would not appear.

Instead they were invited to use an interview Davie had given to the BBC, which would be made available on a “pooled” basis.

Ben de Pear, Channel 4 News editor, tweeted: “So as the BBC release a publicly funded report into a public body the acting DG of the BBC will only be interviewed by the BBC about the BBC.”

He compared the BBC’s decision to offers by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of Iran to give self-produced interviews to the broadcaster.

Ben Bradshaw, the former Labour Culture Secretary, condemned the decision. He tweeted: “The BBC refusing to be interviewed  except by BBC shows they haven't even begun to learn the lessons - very depressing.”

Bradshaw said Mr Davie had “explicitly assured” the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, upon which he sits, that “the BBC would put people up for interview.”

Julian Payne, the BBC’s acting head of communications, tweeted to Mr de Pear: “The interview has been pooled Ben. You have got full access to it.” But the Channel 4 editor said using BBC-released clips was “not accountability”.

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