A BBC chief has apologised for the corporation’s gender pay gap after questioning from a Solihull MP.
Conservative MP, Julian Knight, urged the chairman of the BBC, Sir David Clementi, to admit to mistakes made while handling the institution’s gender pay gap.
The BBC has come under pressure after a number of employees – predominantly women – asked for their pay to be reviewed after a disparity in pay packages between males and females was identified.
Clementi was being questioned by Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee.
While being challenged by Mr Knight, who has served on the committee since 2016, he apologised for how the corporation had handled Carrie Gracie’s complaints and acknowledged that it had made “a number of mistakes”.
Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China editor, has led calls for a review into the troubling pay gap.
Clementi revealed there are 231 people in the BBC who have asked for their pay to be reviewed.
Mr Knight also drew attention to the institution’s ‘297 active equal pay cases’.
As a former BBC journalist, Mr Knight says he knows first-hand how it can be ‘a powerful force for social mobility’ and has been horrified to learn about its out-of-date pay culture.
His interrogation of Clementi was picked up by the New York Times and a variety of international outlets in Spain, Brazil, and Nigeria.
His office say Julian has also been fighting hard to see more of the BBC’s budget spent in the West Midlands, where licence fee-payers get a very poor deal compared to other parts of the UK.
In response to the news, Julian Knight said: “The BBC is one of our most cherished national institutions – to see its good name being dragged through the mud is a real horror show for me and everybody else who supports it.
“The excuses and justifications that BBC bosses have offered to date are not nearly good enough, and Sir David was right to apologise for the way that Carrie Gracie has been treated.
“But this can’t be fixed with words: the BBC must take action on equal pay, and take it now.”
After Mr Knight urged Clementi to issue an “unreserved apology” to Carrie Grace and other females affected, Clementi said: “It is clear within the grievance that we made a number of errors, so I apologise that that should have happened and everybody here is sorry and has recognised the errors made.”