Politics

BBC Responds To Complaints After Charlie Stayt And Naga Munchetty Flag Jokes

The BBC has issued a response after a recent interview conducted by Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty on BBC Breakfast sparked complaints.

Last week, the duo interviewed Conservative politician Robert Jenrick, after which Charlie poked fun at the size of the British flag in his office, that could be seen in the background.

“I think your flag is not up to standard size, government interview measurements,” he cheekily remarked.

“I think it’s just a little bit small, but that’s your department really.”

As Naga tried to suppress her giggles, Charlie continued: “Just a thought. You’ll be aware, we’ve seen every day, it’s a stock thing, isn’t it?”

“There’s always a flag,” she agreed. “They had the picture of the Queen though. In the Westminster office, I’m assuming.” 

The BBC has since revealed they received complaints from viewers that were “unhappy” about the incident, with a representatives stating the two have been “spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities”.

BBC

Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty in the BBC Breakfast studio

A statement posted on the Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) website said: “At the end of a long, serious interview with the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, Charlie Stayt made an off the cuff remark about the size of the flag behind Mr Jenrick.

“It was meant as a light-hearted, off the cuff comment and no offence or disrespect was intended.

“Naga and Charlie have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities, including the BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines.”

Following the incident, Naga apologised after it was noted she’d liked some tweets that were “offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning”.

She said: “I have since removed these ‘likes’. This [does not] represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.”

Similarly, BBC newsreader Huw Edwards shared a photo of himself in front of the Welsh flag, joking: “Flags are now mandatory – very pleased with my new backdrop for @BBCNews at Ten.”

Hours later, the post was removed, and followed by a tweet which read: “Gutted. My pro-flag tweet has been cut down in its prime. By order. But it will be back tomorrow [referencing a then-upcoming rugby match] – by popular demand. Meanwhile enjoy this magnificent flag — one of my favourites. #SixNationsRugby #FRAvWAL.”

BBC Breakfast airs every day from 6am on BBC One.




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