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BBC accused of ‘misleading public’

19 September, 2007

Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has accusing the BBC of 'misleading the public' in their statement following the resignation from the RAF of Michael Cairns a senior member of the BBC's management.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"The statement from the BBC about the continuing responsibilities of Michael Cairns is misleading.

"He is a senior member of the BBC news management team. The BBC statement claims that Mr. Cairns has no 'responsibility for the coverage of defence or foreign affairs'.

"In fact he has a direct responsibility for the journalist Vincent Kearney whose job title is 'Home Affairs'. A few weeks ago Mr. Kearney covered the end of the British Army's 'Operation Banner' and last week he reported on job advertisements for MI5 based at Hollywood.

"Given Mr Cairns long service in the RAF there still remains a conflict of interest with regards to his remit at the BBC.

"The BBC is mandated by their code of ethics to provide the license paying public with impartiality, transparency and objectivity.

"With respect to the controversy surrounding Mr. Cairns they are failing to satisfy the public's understandable concern about his ability to fulfil these objectives." ENDS

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