The Scottish Mail on Sunday
BBC axeman’s ‘£12,000 for private gig’
ONE of the BBC’s most senior managers was paid to speak to an audience of hedge fund managers just days after telling 450 of his colleagues that they face the sack.
Kamal Ahmed, the BBC’s editorial director, is understood to have received £12,000 for a 40-minute appearance at the Aberdeen Standard Investment’s conference last week. He earns between £205,000 and £209,999.
Mr Ahmed – who is listed on the Speakers Associates website in the £10,000 to £25,000 per appearance category – took part in a panel discussion hosted by Steph McGovern, his former BBC colleague who now works for Channel 4.
His appearance came just eight days after he joined executives to unveil a jobs cull to stunned members of the Corporation’s news department to help make £80million savings. Staff were said to be reeling at the scale, which will see one in 13 roles go across news and current affairs. Unions warned of an ‘existential threat’ and hinted at strike action.
BBC staff operate under strict, but complicated, rules when it comes to earning money from activities outside the Corporation. A BBC source said Mr Ahmed, who cannot charge for speaking in his capacity as Editorial Director, had not broken any rules because he agreed to appear when in his previous role of BBC Economics Editor, where he could receive payment for outside work. He left the role in 2018.
Last night, the BBC said: ‘Editorial guidelines allow BBC journalists to carry out external speaking, or chairing, engagements as long as they maintain objectivity and impartiality.’