EXCLUSIVE: The UK government has been accused of interfering with the BBC’s independence after piling pressure on the broadcaster to grip the Huw Edwards scandal in July.
Within hours of The Sun newspaper publishing allegations that Edwards paid a teenager for sexual images, a high-ranking official all but ordered the BBC to investigate, according to emails obtained by Deadline under a Freedom of Information Act request.
The BBC is editorially and operationally independent of the government and people familiar with the corporation’s governance said it is the job of the board, not ministers, to police issues such as the Edwards firestorm.
This did not stop Robert Specterman-Green, the director of media for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), from messaging BBC chief of staff Phil Harrold on Saturday, July 8, to set out the government’s expectations. “While recognising this is a matter for the BBC to manage, I wanted to underline, on behalf of DCMS, our expectation that the BBC looks into this with urgency and proactively takes all necessary and appropriate steps,” Specterman-Green wrote.Read more on deadline.com
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