Naga Munchetty tight-lipped on return to BBC Breakfast

Naga Munchetty arrives at MediaCityUK in Salford

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Naga Munchetty has refused to discuss a row over BBC impartiality sparked when she condemned Donald Trump for comments he made about his political rivals.

She did not review the incident and the subsequent backlash on her first day back to BBC Breakfast, and remained silent when questioned by reporters outside the studio.

Her co-host Charlie Stayt also avoided the topic as they were escorted into Salford’s MediaCityUK by security.

Munchetty has returned to the programme after the BBC partially upheld a complaint against her for offering a personal view on the US president telling minority Democrat politicians to “go back” where they came from.

She said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.”

The broadcaster’s Executive Complaints Unit ruled the declaration that Mr Trump’s comments were “embedded in racism” went beyond what the BBC would allow.

This decision was then overturned by BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall, who said the statement was not “sufficient to merit a partial uphold of the complaint”.

“There was never any sanction against Naga and I hope this step makes that absolutely clear. She is an exceptional journalist and presenter and I am proud that she works for the BBC,” he wrote.

“I have asked the editorial and leadership teams to discuss how we manage live exchanges on air around these topics in the future.”

However much of the damage had already been done with several prominent black and Asian broadcasters, including Sir Lenny Henry and Krishnan Guru-Murthy, criticising the BBC for its handling of the incident.

Read more

BBC pay: Gary Lineker tops list of highest earners

Meghan Markle sues press in ‘privacy case of the century’