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The BBC Newsnight presenter has been pushing for equal pay for women at the public broadcaster, and made a brutal jibe in 2017 after the disparities were laid bare. At the time, just two of the 14 top earners at the BBC were women. And there were also high-profile absences from the report, which has to reveal any on-air talent earning over £150,000, including Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin who did not earn above the threshold unlike their male counterparts.
During a BBC event at the time, Ms Maitlis hit out at her employers.
She told an audience member: “You’re doing so well, soon you’ll be able to afford a BBC man.”
The Sun reported in 2017 that BBC bosses tried to offer Ms Maitlis and other staff — including Radio 4’s Sarah Montague — substantial pay rises.
A source said: “They made her an offer and she did not accept it. As it stands, her future hangs in the balance.
“Emily is totally furious as she feels like she has been lied to. For her not to be on the list is unbelievable.”
Last October, presenter Samira Ahmed took the BBC to court over alleged unequal pay.
Ms Maitlis supported Ms Ahmed’s case on Good Morning Britain last November, claiming it threw up the “difference between news and entertainment”.
Ms Maitlis is now at the centre of a media storm after her opening monologue on Tuesday’s BBC Newsnight programme.
Her introduction to the show was critical of Dominic Cummings – the Prime Minister’s political adviser – after reports showed he had broken lockdown rules in April.
Speculation only grew when she did not host Wednesday night’s show.
The BBC issued an apology after the broadcaster deemed that her introduction about Mr Cummings on Tuesday’s show did not meet the required standards of due impartiality.
With some reports suggesting she had been “replaced”, Ms Maitlis confirmed that she asked to take the night off, and knew the show would be in “excellent hands” as Newsnight’s UK editor Katie Razzall presented the programme instead.
Ms Maitlis tweeted on Thursday morning to say she had been “overwhelmed by all the kindness, messages – and support on here – and I’ve probably missed much of it.
“A big thank you from us all at #newsnight.”
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Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s adviser remains under pressure from both sides of the political spectrum.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said on Sunday he would have sacked Mr Cummings if he were in the same position.
Meanwhile, dozens of Tory MPs have now defied their party leader in criticising Mr Cummings, many of which calling for him to be sacked or resign.
Yesterday, Durham Police issued a statement in which they said “there might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention. Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.”
They added later in the statement that “had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis”.
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