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Off-air dialogue on equal pay nothing to do with…

13 January 2018

BROADCASTER John Humphrys has insisted he was not making light of unequal pay at the BBC in comments he made during an off-air chat, saying they were nothing to do with the campaign by Carrie Gracie. It was just a chat - I had no idea, neither did Jon, neither did anybody else - including the producer - that it was being recorded somewhere in the bowels of the BBC and somebody chose to leak it.

The broadcaster told The Telegraph that he will not be prevented from presenting segments on equal pay as his mainly female colleagues who have campaigned for equal pay were, as he has not campaigned against it himself.

Referring to the cuts, the 74-year-old claimed to have "handed over already more than you f***ing earn".

JH: And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer that I've handed over already more than you f****** earn but I'm still left with more than anybody else and that seems to me to be entirely just - something like that would do it? She's actually suggested that you should you lose money; you know that don't you? You know that don't you?'

Humphrys had not explicitly taken a stand, for or against, on the issue, the BBC found.

Miriam O'Reilly, the former host of BBC's Countryfile, told BuzzFeed News she was due to appear on the programme on Friday morning to speak about gender pay issues at the BBC, until she told a producer she had heard the tape of Humphrys' reported remarks.

'If Mr Humphrys was interviewing me I quite possibly would have - but why not - he would have done the same - it's called freedom of speech'.

Gracie added that she had been offered a £45,000 pay rise, to £180,000, but that it was still less than men in the same role.

On Friday morning, Garvey tweeted to say she was heading to work at the "Department of Mixed Messages, formerly known as the BBC". "And a useful reminder to be ever careful in a room with microphones".

She said: "Clearly John Humphrey's (sic) was not happy about his salary reduction in the equal pay scandal or the reasons why".

John Humphrys
GETTYIt was revealed that two-thirds of BBC stars earning more than £150k are male

Gracie quit as China editor after accusing the BBC of a "secretive and illegal pay culture" in which her male counterparts at the same level were being paid far more.

The planned job swap between Sarah Montague of the Today programme and Martha Kearney of World At One is on hold amid a new BBC pay dispute.

The 55-year-old was furious that Mr Sopel was paid up to £250,000 and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen up to £200,000.

She said male global news editors were being paid 50% more than women in the same role.

A number of staff said they felt disappointed after the clip was circulated around the newsroom, with some women reportedly claiming that his comments exposed an attitude at the corporation that failed to take equality seriously.

The BBC will publish a report from management consultants PwC into talent pay in the next few weeks.

"'How much of your salary are you prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her?", he asked his colleague.

Sopel replied: "I mean, obviously if we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution I'll have to come back and say well yes Mr Humphrys, but..."

A former presenter has accused the BBC of double standards after she was dumped from an appearance on the Today programme ahead of the leak of a damaging conversation involving host John Humphrys.

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Off-air dialogue on equal pay nothing to do with…