Ex-senior BBC journalist calls for BBC Editorial Director to resign over £12,000 hedge fund speech

A former senior BBC journalist has called for the corporation’s Editorial Director to resign after he made thousands from a speech to a hedge fund.

Yesterday, it was reported that BBC editorial director Kamal Ahmed made £12,000 for a 40-minute speech at Aberdeen Standard Investment’s conference last week.


In response, John Sweeney – a former senior investigative journalist at the BBC – called Ahmed’s actions “soft-core corruption,” and told him to resign.

Ahmed, who earns a £200,000 a-year salary from the BBC, gave the speech just days after he joined senior figures in approving harsh cuts to BBC News, that will see 450 job losses.

Ahmed is banned by the BBC from making money from speeches in his capacity as BBC Editorial Director. However, the corporation claims that Ahmed’s hedge fund address didn’t break guidelines, given he agreed to the speech when in his previous role of BBC Economics Editor.

Since Ahmed gave up that job in 2018, the BBC’s rationale is difficult to follow, to say the least.

Indeed, others say that Ahmed shouldn’t have accepted this speaking fee in any circumstances – and especially while Economics Editor.

“His job is to report, and scrutinise the actions of businesses. You really cant do that when accepting these kinds of huge fees from the very businesses you are supposed to be reporting on,” said George Turner, editor of TaxWatch UK.

While you might not agree that Ahmed should resign, he certainly has some serious questions to answer.


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