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BBC suffers revolt as Jewish staff refuse to abide by corporation’s ban on antisemitism march attendance

Jewish BBC staff defied orders by senior management not to attend an antisemitism march taking place last weekend.

Those working at the broadcaster took part in the anti-racism event in London despite being asked not to attend.


BBC bosses feared that staff risked being seen to break impartiality rules with their attendance.

One member of staff described the orders as a “real dilemma” Jewish employees after they were left concerned that they would be hit with disciplinary action for standing up for their faith.

WATCH: Boris Johnson at Sunday’s march

“I learnt last week that the BBC was barring members of staff from attending the planned march against antisemitism — and let’s face it, we’re really talking about Jewish members of staff here, because they’re the only ones who would really be wanting to go — so the BBC knew exactly who it was stopping,” one anonymous Jewish employee told Times Radio.

“The BBC described the ban as ‘guidance’ but that’s just a euphemism for ‘instruction’ because we all knew that non-compliance could result in disciplinary action.

“This created a real dilemma for Jewish staff, and we’re talking about dozens of people.

“We understood the BBC’s rationale that staff risk creating a perception of bias by attending marches which are political or controversial, but this was not a march about Brexit or the NHS, but a march against antisemitism and there is nothing controversial or political about that.

“Antisemitism has soared in Britain since the Hamas attacks and the start of the war on October 7, and as Jews we are all too well aware.

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Tens of thousands of people took part in Sunday’s march

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Antisemitism march

The march was a stand against racism that left BBC staff in an awkward position

PA

“Whether or not we have experienced it directly, our families and communities are affected by it daily, and it is on our minds, whether we are at home or at work.”

Tens of thousands of people took part in the march against antisemitism in London on Sunday.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson was among the high-profile figures joining the demonstration, a day after crowds also gathered in the capital to demand a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict.

Johnson compared antisemitism with “an old spore of a virus”.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of what Israel has done, or is doing, I think that the antisemitism that we’ve seen in some of these marches around western Europe and further afield has really confirmed for me the absolute necessity, the human necessity, for Israel to exist,” he told GB News.

Responding to the concerns of Jewish staff, a BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC is clear that antisemitism is abhorrent.

“We have established guidance around marches, which explains that different considerations apply depending on what you do for the BBC.

“Corporately, we have not issued any staff communication on any specific march this weekend, but this does not mean discussions which consider the guidance have not taken place between colleagues.”

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