Paxman, Robinson, Maitlais, Naughtie and 28 other BBC journalists warn the NUJ about striking during next week's Conservative Conference
By Paul Goodman
The Guardian reports that 32 BBC journalists have written to the National Union of Journalists expressing "serious concerns" about next week's planned strike during the Conservative Party Conference.
The letter says that holding the 48-hour strike over proposed changes to the BBC pension scheme during the conference, including the day of David Cameron's speech, "risks looking unduly partisan – particularly when none of the other party conferences have been targeted".
It adds -
"Impartiality is the watchword for the BBC's political coverage and we would not wish to give a misleading impression that this is no longer something we value highly. This is no comment on the proposed retrospective changes to the pension scheme which have caused widespread anger in the BBC nor is there any disagreement with the principle of strike action. However, we are clear that the choice of strike dates is counterproductive."
The signatories include -
Huw Edwards, Jeremy Paxman, Martha Kearney, Nick Robinson, Jon Sopel, Peter Allen, Emily Maitlis, Jim Naughtie, Carolyn Quinn, Michael Crick, Laura Kuenssberg and John Pienaar.
They said they had been unable to attend recent NUJ branch meetings about the proposed strike because of the Liberal Democrat and Labour conferences over the past fortnight and wanted "to make our position clear".