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Should Chris Packham be forced to pack his bags and leave BBC Springwatch?

Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner has demanded the BBC sack the presenter for promoting an extreme agenda and criticises the corporation for giving him a publicly funded platform.

Chris Packham

Tim Bonner writes: “The new edition of BBC Wildlife magazine carries a column by Chris Packham which is remarkable in that it picks a fight with practically everyone.

“Fox hunters and game shooters, obviously, but also the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts and even the RSPB (of which he is vice-President) because they will not join his obsessive crusades.

“This is the clearest possible abuse of the position the BBC has given Chris Packham and as it is an on-going behaviour, rather than an isolated incident, it is difficult to see how the situation can change.

“If it does not, then the BBC’s only answer can be to remove the BBC from Chris Packham’s biography by refusing to employ him any more.

“He has continued to happily use the fame given to him by his work for the BBC to promote an increasingly extreme agenda.

“We are lucky to live in a liberal democracy where people are able to hold any number of bizarre views. There is no issue with people voicing such opinions, but using the position granted by a public service broadcaster to promote an extreme agenda is a different thing entirely. The BBC knows this, and has been forced to act once, but it has also ignored other complaints and failed to address its employee’s obvious abuse of his position.

Reply by charities in BBC Wildlife magazine

The editor of BBC Wildlife has said that the magazine will invite the charities mentioned by Mr Packham in his column to reply in their November issue.

We look forward to reading it.

Back in September 2013 our own Alastair Mitchell wrote an article asking why the BBC “bound by its charter obligations to be impartial on matters of political controversy” let “Springwatch presenters get away with slagging-off the folk involved in legal, Government-approved badger-culling?”

He continues: “The BBC has not denied that the two presenters in question made the outrageous and offensive comments. It simply says that they were making their opinions known in a private capacity, so were not caught by the corporation’s obligation to impartiality.”

You can read the full piece here – and the writer’s musings on the BBC’s demands for a licence fee of £145.50