BBC director-general defends appointment of Jess Brammar

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Jess Brammar - Handout
Jess Brammar - Handout

The BBC director-general has defended the appointment of Jess Brammar, saying it would be “dangerous” if someone’s past tweets could rule them out of a job.

Ms Brammar will join the corporation as executive news editor despite Tory critics raising concerns about her impartiality.

They accused her of posting anti-Brexit and anti-government tweets in her past role as editor of the Left-leaning HuffPost UK website.

But Mr Davie, speaking at the Royal Television Society in Cambridge, said: “I think we’re in dangerous territory if previous political positions, tweets, goodness knows what else, rule you out from BBC jobs.

“The idea that we’re not going to be hiring people with political views in their past … that’s not where I want to get to. I think it’s quite dangerous because you end up in an unmanageable position for the BBC and not great for journalism.”

Mr Davie said that the BBC had “made some progress” in delivering impartiality since he arrived a year ago, in terms of covering elections and Covid-19.

He also admitted that “of course you wouldn’t invent the BBC now. But I wouldn’t invent many things that I think are the most precious, wonderful things. You wouldn’t invent it now but, by goodness, I wouldn’t change it.”

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