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BBC refuses to release tax avoidance emails

Whilethey have the ability to put the rumours to rest regarding whether it encouraged some of its presenters to commit tax avoidance, the BBC has kept mum.

The Beeb has flatly turned down any and all opportunities to publish  email correspondence that would prove, one way or another, if it acted to encourage some of its presenters and other staff to use their own personal service companies in an effort to commit tax avoidance. In fact, BBC Trust finance committee chairman, Anthony Fry, has been unequivocal in denying the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which has called for the BBC to release these internal emails to public scrutiny.

The public broadcaster has remarked that it is in the middle of working its way through changing the contracts of a number of its higher paid staff members, transitioning them to corporation employees instead of contract workers or freelancers. However, several MPs have been skeptical of how long the process is taking, accusing the BBC of dragging its heels when it comes to full disclosure to the public.

Public Accounts Committee member Richard Bacon was highly critical of Mr Fry in a recent interview with The Times, calling the BBC Trust chairman out on burying his head in the sand. Mr Fry’s responsibilities lie in investigating the financial particulars of the Beeb and taking swift action if things are out of order, the Tory committee member added.

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