BBC's political editor Nick Robinson backs out of arms-trade dinner role following formal complaints from campaigners
£235-a-head Mayfair dinner will be attended by the bosses of global arms manufacturing companies
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Friday 24 January 2014
Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, has withdrawn as star speaker at a dinner for Britain’s defence industry after complaints from anti-arms trade campaigners.
The £235-a-head Mayfair dinner, scheduled for next week, will be attended by the bosses of global arms manufacturing companies, government ministers, Downing Street defence advisers and high-ranking officers from the UK military.
Mr Robinson’s appearance at the ADS annual dinner had been the subject of a formal complaint to the BBC by a leading anti-arms trade pressure group. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) wrote to the BBC this week stating that it believed the appearance would compromise the corporation’s impartiality and Mr Robinson’s “reputation for objectivity when reporting developments in the arms industry”.
The corporation said it “did not accept” the accusation that Mr Robinson’s appearance would compromise his or the BBC’s reputation for impartiality.
However, it added that because of a “change of plan”, Mr Robinson “will be reporting on the television news on the evening in question and will therefore not be attending the dinner”. The volte-face comes despite publicity prominently featuring the journalist as the event’s star speaker.
CAAT responded: “While we are pleased that Nick Robinson has pulled out, we are disappointed that the BBC does not recognise the obvious conflict between their reputation and values and those of the arms trade.”
In 2012, Frank Gardner, the BBC’s widely respected security correspondent, pulled out of a speaking engagement at the Counter Terrorism Expo Awards. Last March his fellow security correspondent, Gordon Corera, was criticised for taking part in a counter-terrorism trade event.
Undertaker dead hoax: WWE wrestler not 'found dead in home' as Facebook and Twitter reports
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' in Valentine's Day letter
Total lunar eclipse 2014: Where can I see the blood moon? Live-streaming and more
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of last night's spectacular 'blood moon'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Ukip and Nigel Farage on the up over Maria Miller furore and 'Sexminster' culture
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 What's in the safe? Man live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
£45000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Move from Audit to Advisor...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: You must ...
£60 - £70 per day: AER Teachers: THE SCHOOL: This outstanding Secondary School...
£36000 - £40000 Per Annum On call allowance.: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...