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Jacob Rees-Mogg warns BBC of ‘damage’ to reputation for impartiality from hiring left-wingers

Jacob Rees-Mogg warns the BBC it is doing its reputation for impartiality ‘a lot of damage’ by hiring left-wingers amid political row over plan to appoint ex-HuffPost editor Jess Brammar to a senior news role

  • Rees-Mogg used a podcast to wade into a political row over the appointment 
  • Ex-HuffPost UK editor and Newsnight reporter lined up as executive news editor
  • Theresa May’s ex-comms chief Sir Robbie Gibb, reportedly tried to block her
  • Prompted demands from Labour for him to resign from BBC board role

The BBC is damaging its reputation for impartiality by consistently making senior appointments from people on the political left and not the right, Jacob Rees-Mogg has claimed.

The Leader of the Commons used a podcast to wade into a political row over the appointment of Jess Brammar, a former HuffPost UK editor and Newsnight journalist, as the BBC’s executive news editor.

Theresa May’s former communications chief Sir Robbie Gibb, who now sits on the BBC board, reportedly tried to block the appointment, sparking Labour demands for him to be removed.

But speaking on the MoggCast podcast, Mr Rees-Mogg said bringing in journalists from left-wing outlets undermined the perception of the organisation’s independence.

As well as her own successful career, Ms Brammar is married to the Guardian’s media editor Jim Waterson.

In his fortnightly podcast for the Conservative Home website, Mr Rees-Mogg complained the corporation was unwilling to take on people seen to have come from a more right-wing background.

‘When did the BBC last hire somebody from Conservative Home to come and be their senior figure or from The Daily Telegraph?’ he said.

In his fortnightly podcast for the Conservative Home website, Mr Rees-Mogg complained the corporation was unwilling to take on people seen to have come from a more right-wing background.

The Leader of the Commons used a podcast to wade into a political row over the appointment of Jess Brammar, a former HuffPost UK editor and Newsnight journalist, as the BBC's executive news editor.

The Leader of the Commons used a podcast to wade into a political row over the appointment of Jess Brammar, a former HuffPost UK editor and Newsnight journalist, as the BBC’s executive news editor.

Theresa May's former communications chief Sir Robbie Gibb, who now sits on the BBC board, reportedly tried to block the appointment, sparking Labour demands for him to be removed.

Theresa May’s former communications chief Sir Robbie Gibb, who now sits on the BBC board, reportedly tried to block the appointment, sparking Labour demands for him to be removed.

‘I remember when they appointed Andrew Marr as their political editor, who was a polemicist for one of the left-wing newspapers, somebody said to them why hadn’t they appointed Boris Johnson or someone from the right.

‘And, of course, they said ‘we couldn’t possibly do that, it’s too controversial’.

‘When it’s from the left it’s all right, but when it’s from the right that’s beyond the pale. I think the BBC does itself a lot of damage in this regard.

‘People like (political editor) Laura Kuenssberg make their professional reputations on being completely impartial.

‘Then the BBC management goes off and starts suggesting it should hire someone from a left-wing outlet, and that damages the whole perception of independence and impartiality at the BBC.’

His comments come after Sir Robbie is said to have intervened in Ms Brammar’s appointment, claiming it would damage trust with the Government.

The party political intervention from a figure who previously held senior BBC roles, has reportedly stalled the appointment. 

But a senior BBC News source told the Mail this week: ‘It’s a very unwelcome intervention – totally inappropriate and damaging.’ 

They claimed Miss Brammar was ‘still in play’ for the job. Labour has written to BBC bosses demanding Sir Robbie’s resignation.

Deputy party leader Angela Rayner wrote: ‘Putting pressure on the recruitment process of staff is entirely outside of the remit of the board and a total abuse of position.’ On Twitter she attacked ‘Tory cronyism at the heart of the BBC’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk