BBC challenged on paying politicians

April 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

LONDON, April 29 (UPI) -- Complaints have led the British Broadcasting Corp. to investigate why some of its programs and divisions pay politicians to make appearances.

Among the broadcaster's roster of radio and television political talk programs, some pay as little as $325 plus expenses and others pay $800, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Most recently, the BBC received complaints about one Labor member of Parliament, Diane Abbott, who was paid $9,750 for seven appearances on the "This Week" television program.

The same program has also paid former Home Secretary Alan Johnson $37,000 for regular appearances since January 2011, parliamentary records show.

The broadcaster's own editorial guidelines state, "We should not normally pay MPs, or others clearly identified as representing political parties, for appearances or other contributions to any BBC output in which they are speaking as a member of their party or expressing political views."

An internal review is scheduled to release a ruling on the practice this week, the Telegraph said.

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