Entertainment

Radio 4 host Winifred Robinson off air after gender pay tweet

Winifred Robinson

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Robinson joined You and Yours in 2000

Winifred Robinson, presenter for Radio 4 show You and Yours, was taken off air on Tuesday – a day after posting her views on the BBC and equal pay.

The consumer programme’s focus on Tuesday was the issue of gender pay following Carrie Gracie’s resignation as the BBC’s China editor.

Gracie left her post, citing pay inequality with male international editors earning more than her.

Robinson is among many BBC workers who have tweeted their support for Gracie.

The BBC have yet to confirm the reason why Robinson was taken off air.

In another tweet, she described the situation involving Gracie as “a mess”.

In an open letter issued on Sunday, Gracie – who has been at the BBC for more than 30 years – accused the corporation of having a “secretive and illegal pay culture”.

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PA

Image caption

Gracie, who has worked at the BBC for 30 years, is returning to her former post in the TV newsroom in London

She said she would return to her former post in the TV newsroom in London “where I expect to be paid equally”.

Ms Gracie told Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour the BBC had offered to raise her annual salary to £180,000, but she did not see that as a solution and there would still have been “a big gap between myself and my male peers”.

Due to the BBC’s impartiality rules, presenter Jane Garvey – who had also tweeted support for Ms Gracie – said she was unable to conduct the interview.

Instead, despite Ms Gracie being in the Woman’s Hour studio, the interview was carried out by freelance journalist Jane Martinson, from a separate location.

BBC guidelines dictate that reporters should should not be “exposed to conflicts of interest”, and there must be “editorial separation” of those reporting the story.

The UK’s equality watchdog is to write to the BBC following the resignation of Gracie.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said it would consider whether further action is required based on the corporation’s response.

‘A beacon for values’

Meanwhile, there was an urgent question asked by Livingston MP Hannah Bardell during a House of Commons debate about accusations of unfair pay at the BBC.

New Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Matthew Hancock, said the BBC should “uphold and be a beacon for British values of fairness including equal pay for equal jobs”.

He added: “Working for the BBC is public service and a great privilege, but some men are paid far more than other public servants… much more action is needed.

“The BBC must act because the women at the BBC deserve better.”

Ms Bardell said: “Somebody with a strong view should be separated for impartiality – but (we) need to do that on every case.”

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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42623068

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