Press releases > BBC bans calls
Gaza Appeal - Now BBC Bans Calls!   (January 26th 2009)

The BBC has this morning banned calls to the Today programme production office, says North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale.

The MP, himself a former BBC Today editor and producer, says:

"Following John Humphreys` interview with the Director General, Mark Thompson, I tried to get through to the production office (not to be confused with the studio gallery which is, of course, frantic while to programme is on air).  I was first told that there was nobody in the office and when I challenged this - it is always manned during transmission - I was then told that "we have been instructed not to put any calls through until after 9 o'clock" by which time, of course, the programme is off air.

I suppose that I should not be surprised: the Director General's position has now become untenable.  Following on from the Jonathan Ross episode the banning of the screening of the Gaza appeal is another appalling error of judgement and the time really has come when the "Trustees" must bite the bullet and bring about changes at the top.

If we carry on as we are then what has been one of the finest broadcasting organisations in the World in its heyday will have no credibility and no friends left.

If the Churches, politicians of all persuasions and the public all believe that the BBC has got it wrong then surely the time has come for even that august organisation to listen.  The alternative would appear to be the kind of stubborn arrogance that we have been subjected to this morning - followed by disintegration."

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