BBC editor resigns accusing public broadcaster of 'secretive and illegal pay culture'

Ivan Schwartz
January 10, 2018

As the Corporation grappled with the resignation of China editor Carrie Gracie, it emerged that key female presenters including Europe editor Katya Adler had been handed pay rises.

After learning the truth via the publication of the salaries, Gracie said she told her bosses the "only acceptable resolution would be for all the global editors to be paid the same amount".

Miss Gracie, who earned £135,000 a year, quit in protest at widespread "pay discrimination" - turning down a £45,000 raise - and has moved to another role in the newsroom.

It said a new requirement for thousands of firms to report on gender pay gaps would "do more to end discrimination" in the workplace.

Last night she issued an open letter setting out her reasons, saying 'enough was enough'. As he is on a permanent staff contract, the BBC needs his permission to cut his pay.

The UK's equality watchdog is to write to the BBC following the resignation of its former China editor Carrie Gracie amid claims of pay inequality.

The 55-year-old was furious that North America editor Jon Sopel was paid up to £250,000 and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen up to £200,000.

"I am a China specialist, fluent in Mandarin and with almost three decades of reporting the story".

On Monday morning, Gracie had cohosted the BBC's agenda-setting Today programme, alongside one of the broadcaster's highest-paid journalists, John Humphrys.

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These cuts and the selective pay increases for female staff were created to quell anger - but yesterday it became clear they have backfired.

Sian Kevill, the former director of BBC World News, said she was "quite shocked" at the pay disparity between worldwide editors.

But the actual application of these guidelines was raising questions by Monday afternoon after BBC TV host Simon McCoy interviewed employment lawyer Jennifer Millins about the Carrie Gracie story on the BBC News channel.

"Despite the BBC's public insistence that my appointment demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, and despite my own insistence that equality was a condition of taking up the post, my managers had yet again judged that women's work was worth much less than men's".

A high-profile BBC journalist has quit her role in anger over what she called "incompetent" efforts to close a gender pay gap that has shaken the British public broadcaster. "For the first time, women saw hard evidence of what they'd long suspected, that they are not being valued equally".

And the commission also warned that the duty to report on gender pay gaps - brought in last April - was likely to expose more instances of unequal pay. In the six months since July's revelations, the BBC has attempted a botched solution based on divide and rule. Currently, the pay difference in the United Kingdom stands at 18.1% for all workers or 9.4% for full-time staff.

Since Gracie confirmed her resignation in an open letter, Emma Watson has joined top broadcasters and MPs in voicing her support of the journalist's decision.

Explaining the reasoning behind resigning from her BBC China editor job, Ms Gracie said: "Every day I go out without fear or favour, facing intimidation in China, facing censorship, actually telling the story and shining a light".

The BBC ordered a review into pay amid widespread criticism after it emerged only a third of its stars earning more than £150,000 salaries were women and the top seven earners were all men.

Other reports by GizPress

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