Naga Munchetty has been exonerated after a tense interview with Harvey Proctor prompted fresh complaints against the BBC Breakfast presenter.
The former Tory MP cut short an interview about the disgraced Operation Midland on the morning show after saying he was being prevented from speaking.
- October 20, 2020
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Munchetty had recently been at the centre of a racism debate over her comments about Donald Trump, ultimately resulting in a ruling against her being overturned by BBC boss Lord Tony Hall.
The presenter was once again the subject of complaints for her interview with Proctor.
The BBC said the viewer complaints would not be upheld, stating: “We believe Naga Munchetty conducted the interview in a fair and understanding manner.”
Proctor was interviewed on 5 October about his experience being caught up in a flawed Metropolitan Police investigation into a purported VIP Westminster paedophile ring.
While the former MP levelled accusations against the Met and its commissioner Cressida Dick, Munchetty attempted to speak over him to read a statement from the force.
“By talking across me you’re not really doing what the BBC should do, and that is to give a right to comment,” Proctor said during the exchange via video link.
Munchetty replied: “Please let me talk and I will let you talk, this is how this works.”
Proctor voiced further criticism of the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the BBC’s coverage of the botched police investigation that was based on false claims by Carl Beech, aka “Nick”.
He added that the BBC was “very sensitive about any criticism whatsoever that may come your way”.
The pair continued to talk over each other before Proctor abruptly removed his earpiece and ended the conversation saying: “I am sorry, I am not having this.”
Munchetty observed that: “I think what is very clear there is the impact that this investigation has had on his life as he said at the very beginning.”
Complaints were made against Munchetty over the interview but the BBC complaints response said that “Mr Proctor was given plenty of time to make his points” and “when Naga interrupted it was to keep the interview on track but this was done politely and professionally”.
Complaints mentioned Munchetty warning against saying things which were “potentially incorrect”.
A complaints response states this was not in regard to what had been said in the conversation, but “to ensure nothing is said in the future that was incorrect”.
A past complaint against the presenter which was upheld resulted in a media storm, with public outcry over her censure for branding President Trump’s call for rivals to “go home” to their own counties “embedded in racism”.
This complaint was ultimately overturned by director-general Lord Hall amid heavy criticism of the BBC.