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16th Apr 2023

Huw Edwards responds after top BBC presenters ‘receive redundancy letters’

Charlie Herbert

Huw Edwards responds to BBC redundancy letter

A number of senior staff received letters

Huw Edwards has responded to reports that big-name BBC presenters including himself have received redundancy letters from the broadcaster.

The 61-year-old news presenter was one of several who received letters asking if they would be open to taking voluntary redundancy as part of a cost-cutting drive from the BBC.

The corporation is looking to restructure its news division in a bid to save money.

Edwards has since taken to social media to respond to the reports, playing down the letters as a “standard HR exercise.”

He wrote on Twitter: “Reality check. A standard HR exercise by BBC News (one of many over the years) is just that.

“A standard invitation to consider applying for voluntary redundancy. Nothing more. As my mam says, don’t believe everything in the papers.”

The BBC’s interim managing editor of news and current affairs, Philippa Busby, sent letters to a number of high profile names, such as Edwards, Reeta Chakrabarti, Clive Myrie and Sophie Raworth.

In the letter, seens by the Mail on Sunday, Busby wrote: “As you will be aware, in 2022 we announced a number of changes across BBC News which have meant that some colleagues have been placed at risk of redundancy, including some colleagues in presenter roles.”

A source said: “The email is addressed to all senior news presenters and presenters on the band immediately below. Everyone got it on the same day.

“Senior figures in TV news, including Huw Edwards, Sophie Raworth, Clive Myrie and Reeta Chakrabarti, have received the letter. It’s also been sent to the main presenters on Radio 4’s Today programme.”

Presenters had until last Friday to register their interest.

The move was a bid by the BBC to cut the number of compulsory redundancies.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This isn’t about any new job cuts – it’s a standard HR exercise relating to savings we’ve announced previously – and it’s not targeting any individuals; we have to send it to everyone who’s at the same grade.

“We’re looking for expressions of interest in redundancy, not offering it, and it’s not the case that any or everyone who came forward would be accepted.”

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