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Silencing of BBC staff

Written By Ben O'Donovan-Iland

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Green Party Co-Leader Johnathan Bartley has written to Tim Davie, BBC Director General, requesting him to give clarification on the directive to ban all of the organisation’s staff from attending ‘controversial’ events.

According to Davie, the ban is to create a perception of impartiality within the BBC after they have received criticisms from mainly right-wing groups.

This silencing, however, as Bartley raises in his letter, could drive ‘people’s personal opinions underground and [make] them fearful of expressing their own views.’ At a time when the Black Lives Matter movement, amongst other critical social issues, have been brought to the forefront, BBC staff should not be prevented from standing up for their beliefs or to support communities.

In his letter, Bartley asks ‘Please can you tell me how this ban is compatible with the human right to freedom of expression for BBC staff? I would also be grateful for clarification about how any attempt to discipline staff who might be considered to breach these guidelines would be consistent with their employment rights?’

He goes on to explain that ‘A free and open society acknowledges a diversity of views and enables people to debate them in a civil and respectful way’.

We are still to receive a response from Davie.

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