BBC rejects bullying cover up claim

THE BBC has rejected claims it covered-up bullying allegations against the ex-head of TV current affairs in Northern Ireland.

ccording to a report in The Times on Saturday a group of corporation employees challenged its handling of the complaints made against Jeremy Adams.

Mr Adams, who is believed to have left the BBC in July, worked on award-winning programmes including Panorama and Spotlight.

But he had been the subject of numerous allegations of bullying which sparked an internal investigation in August 2019.

The newspaper said that at a meeting in January this year staff were told that no bullying was found but that there were lessons to be learnt.

Mr Adams declined to comment on the matter when asked by The Times.

When Mr Adams’ departure was announced earlier this year the director of BBC Northern Ireland, Peter Johnston, paid him a glowing tribute saying he was one of the “pre-eminent investigative journalists of his generation” and that he had been responsible for “some of the BBC’s most important current affairs programmes and investigations”.

But according to internal BBC documents seen by the The Times some staff felt the message was offensive in light of the claims made against him.

It added that the corporation told staff that concerns had been the subject of an “open and honest” investigation and the outcome was “private to Jeremy”. Under BBC rules those party to a complaint will not be told the outcome of an investigation but the original complainant will receive findings.

The newspaper reported that staff were told: “We were really struck by how difficult a process this has been for you all and how having raised serious concerns you then felt excluded from information.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC takes complaints or concerns raised by staff, including any allegations of bullying and harassment, extremely seriously and we have robust processes in place which reflect best practice. We do not comment on individual staff matters but we investigate complaints with rigour and care and appropriate action is taken where necessary.”

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