Andrew Neil accuses BBC of being ‘cack-handed’ in redundancy bid

Veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil has accused the BBC of being “cack-handed” after popular presenters were sent an letter asking them to consider voluntary redundancy. Mr Neil, who left the BBC and now presents a politics show on Channel 4, said: “The BBC really doesn’t want these people to take redundancy.

“But the way it’s handled the matter, with its indiscriminate round-robin redundo letter, is incredibly cack-handed.”

Some of the top-level presenters thought to have received the letter via email include Sophie Raworth Huw Edwards, Reeta Chakrabarti, and Clive Myrie.

Nick Robinson and Justin Webb, who host Radio 4’s flagship Today show are also believed to be in the group.

Mr Robinson, who earns £270,000 to £274,999, insisted the six stars were unlikely to go for it.

He said: “This is a routine offer of voluntary redundancy which no one named here is likely to take up.”

BBC News At Ten presenter Huw Edwards also brushed off the email.

Posting a photo on Twitter of himself raising a glass with his mum Aerona Protheroe, he wrote: “Reality check. A standard HR exercise by BBC News [one of many over the years] is just that.

“A standard invitation to consider applying for voluntary redundancy. Nothing more.

“As my mam says, don’t believe everything in the papers.”

The newsreader is paid between £410,000 and £414,000. His post was retweeted by Ms Chakrabarti and Ms Raworth.

A BBC spokesman said: “This isn’t about any new job cuts. It’s a standard HR exercise relating to savings we’ve announced previously, and it’s not targeting any individuals.

“We have to send it to everyone who’s at the same [pay] grade. We’re looking for expressions of interest in redundancy, not offering it, and it’s not the case that any or everyone who came forward would be accepted.”

The letter is understood to have come from Philippa Busby, the interim managing editor of news and current affairs.

It says: “As you will be aware, in 2022 we announced a number of changes across BBC News which have meant that some colleagues have been placed at risk of redundancy, including some colleagues in presenter roles.”

It asks staff who “would like to consider potentially leaving the BBC under voluntary redundancy” to arrange a meeting with senior HR executive Tim Burden.

A newsroom source told a Sunday newspaper: “The email is addressed to all senior news presenters and presenters on the band immediately below. Everyone got it on the same day.”

Source: Read Full Article