Huw Edwards hits back at Media Secretary claim that BBC full of people ‘whose parents worked there’
Broadcaster Huw Edwards has hit back at a claim by Media and Culture Secretary of State Nadine Dorries that the BBC is staffed by people “whose mum and dad worked there”.
The new culture secretary condemned what she called “groupthink” in the BBC, saying the broadcaster and the arts more widely included a predominance of privately educated people reliant on nepotism.
But Huw Edwards fired back on social media, saying that “I know one spectacularly successful BBC News presenter whose parents were never on the BBC’s books and who made it ‘despite’ his state and non-Oxbridge education. Fancy that!”
He was educated at Llanelli Boys’ Grammar School and graduated with a degree in French from University College, Cardiff, in 1983.
He also posted a picture of himself as a boy with his late father Hywel Teifi Edwards, his mother Aerona, and his sister Meinir. His father was a Research Professor of Welsh-language Literature at University College, Swansea, and his mother a teacher at Llanelli’s Ysgol Gyfun y Strade.
I know one spectacularly successful @BBCNews presenter whose parents were never on the BBC’s books and who made it ‘despite’ his state and non-Oxbridge education. Fancy that! 🏴🙏🏻 https://t.co/9ZQe1usHjK pic.twitter.com/niArZ2dg8u
— Huw Edwards (@thehuwedwards) October 4, 2021
Speaking earlier at the Conservative Party conference, Nadine Dorries had said that the BBC needed a more socially diverse workforce and had “an impartiality problem”.
“The perspective from the BBC is that they will get a settlement and then we’ll talk about how they’re going to change,” Dorries told a live edition of the Telegraph podcast Chopper’s Politics at the conference in Manchester. “But my perspective is, tell me how you’re going to change and then you get a settlement.
“We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just people whose mum and dad worked there.”
Some on social media responding to her comments claimed that they were ironic given that she had faced criticism for employing two of her daughters as staff in her parliamentary office at a cost of up to £80,000 in 2013.