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Dan Wootton, 38, slammed GB News’ broadcasting rivals at the BBC and demanded the UK’s national broadcaster be “reined in” following the news Jess Phillips, 40, was paid £15,000 to host ‘Have I Got News For You’ on December 10. The Kiwi-born journalist said: “I regularly scoff when the BBC pleads poverty despite charging every citizen £159-a-year simply to watch television.
“More proof this weekend that the corporation is a bloated monolith with more money than sense.
“It has emerged that the Labour MP Jess Phillips was paid a whopping £15,000 to host a single edition of the tired far-left comedy panel show ‘Have I Got News For You’ in December.”
He added: “I’m sure Ms Phillips, who is a self-described staunch socialist, would have donated that fee to charity given she already gets paid £81,932 as an MP and given Labour MPs, remember this, just a few weeks ago were so up in arms about Tories taking on second jobs.”
But in an attack on the BBC, Mr Wootton concluded by saying: “The BBC is out of control.
“This is proof it must be reined in.”
Ms Phillips, who briefly ran against 59-year-old Sir Keir Starmer for the Labour leadership in 2020, has since responded to reports concerning her pay on ‘Have I Got News For You’.
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She said: “Obviously I think it’s a lot of money.
“I believe it’s the standard fee.
“I didn’t negotiate it.
“The shoot is about three hours but as a presenter you are there all day running through, rehearsing with the autocue.
“I’m not sure this was because I am a novice or it is standard.”
However, a source argued Ms Phillips’ claim she had to be there all day was “hilarious”.
They said: “Twelve hours is the most hilarious bit.
“None of them work on the script.
“They just get handed it.
“Scriptwriters start writing Monday lunchtime and finish on Thursday night.
“Normal recording time is about two to two-and-a-half hours.”
According to data collated by the House of Commons Library, the median gross weekly pay for full-time employee jobs in Birmingham Yardley stood at just £597.
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Ms Phillips earned over 25 times that amount in her one-off ‘Have I Got News For You’ payment.
The Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding had been critical of the Tory Party following the news ex-Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, 65, received £110,000-a-year to lobby the Government on behalf of two private sector companies.
Speaking in a Commons debate over parliamentary standards in November, Ms Phillips said: “I helped lots of charities to do it and I did not charge anyone a single bean.
“I will finish by saying that there is one rule for the people in our country, and seemingly another for enormous, friendly companies who are willing to pay the people in here.”
However, Spectator magazine also reported Ms Phillips’ received an additional £15,500 through writing columns and delivering speeches.
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