BBC Breakfast’s Charlie Stayt slammed for flag comment
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BBC Breakfast hosts Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty mocked a Union Jack flag during an interview with Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. The hosts joked Mr Jenrick’s flag was “just a little bit small”.
Following this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lashed out at the corporation and claimed the BBC is subject to “metropolitan bias”.
Mr Johnson’s attack was welcomed by campaigners calling for the BBC to be defunded following months of criticism.
Former MEP Rupert Lowe called out the BBC hosts and accused them of “pretending to be impartial”.
He tweeted: “Good to hear that Boris has been having a pop at the BBC.
“I have my problems with the Government, but if these presenters are taking public money and pretending to be impartial, then they need to keep their anti-Tory sentiments to themselves.”
When asked about perceptions of the BBC, Mr Johnson told the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs: “There are moments when they approach fairness.
“I think we need to recognise as a whole there is a degree of instinctive metropolitan bias in the BBC newsroom.
“It’s pretty clear from the whole Brexit experience the BBC was pretty detached from what its viewers and listeners and I hope they move more into line.”
A statement issued by the BBC confirmed it had received complaints from people who were “unhappy” about Mr Stayt’s comments and Mrs Munchetty reaction.
It added: “It was meant as a light-hearted, off the cuff comment and no offence or disrespect was intended.
“Naga and Charlie have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities, including the BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines.”
Ms Munchetty later apologised for her social media activity but not for the behaviour of the presenters on BBC Breakfast.
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She tweeted: “I have since removed these ‘likes’.
“This do not represent the views of me or the BBC.
“I apologise for any offence taken. Naga.”
Over recent months, the BBC has faced ongoing criticism online after it scrapped free TV licence fees for most over-75s.
Following on from this, last month they announced they would be rising the mandatory licence fee by £1.50 from £157.50 to £159 from April.
People buying or renewing their TV licence after April 1 will pay the new higher fee.
Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme that started before that date, such as via a monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £157.50 until it comes up for renewal.
The fee is set by the Government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.
The new cost equates to 43p per day, according to the BBC.
The BBC has promised to help boost diversity on screen following a damning poll where 27 percent of people said there is a little coverage of diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
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