Blue Peter star in political row

  • 16 August 2007

Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq has been accused by BBC bosses of political bias after attending a press conference to promote the Hovis London Freewheel cycling event with London Mayor Ken Livingstone. She appeared at the event despite the BBC warning her agent that in doing so she would be breaking their impartiality rules. However Jonathan Shalit, Ms Huq’s agent said she attended the event “in goodwill” and has now withdrawn her support. BBC Director-General Mark Byford has apologised to Brian Coleman, the deputy chairman of the London Assembly describing it as “a one off incident”. Byford continued that the BBC must have an “absolute veto” over presenters’ outside work. Mr Shalit said: “It is totally not the BBC or Konnie’s fault. It is quite correct the BBC said no to it but I wasn’t aware of that. The BBC probably realised it was a political event when I didn’t.”

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