BBC apologise to Harvey Proctor over ‘Nick’ interview

The BBC has apologised to former Tory MP Harvey Proctor over an error made by a Breakfast TV presenter.

Mr Proctor, who was falsely accused of multiple murder by serial liar Carl Beech, walked out of a live interview about Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP child sex abuse inquiry.

Naga Munchetty was quizzing him about Beech – alias ‘Nick’– who has been jailed for 18 years.

The presenter wrongly claimed Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick had been cleared by independent reports into the force’s handling of the case.

Mr Proctor, who was falsely accused of multiple murder by serial liar Carl Beech, walked out of a live interview about Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP child sex abuse inquiry

Mr Proctor, who was falsely accused of multiple murder by serial liar Carl Beech, walked out of a live interview about Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP child sex abuse inquiry

Mr Proctor, who was falsely accused of multiple murder by serial liar Carl Beech, walked out of a live interview about Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP child sex abuse inquiry

Mr Proctor said she had not and later filed a complaint with the BBC after it dismissed viewers’ concerns over his interview with Miss Munchetty on October 5, saying she had conducted it in a ‘fair and understanding manner’.

BBC Breakfast editor Richard Frediani emailed the former Tory politician on Wednesday to offer a private apology.

In the email, seen by the Daily Mail, Mr Frediani said: ‘I fully accept that while the IOPC did not find evidence of deliberate wrongdoing by the Met Officers it investigated, their investigation did not in fact refer to Ms Dick (sic) as the subsequent exchange suggested.

‘I’m very sorry we got this wrong, but I hope you can accept mistakes can happen in live broadcasting and that this was not of course a lie (as Mr Proctor had alleged in his complaint).’

Mr Proctor had accused the BBC of ‘covering up’ by dismissing the complaints. 

Naga Munchetty wrongly claimed Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick had been cleared by independent reports into the force’s handling of the case

Naga Munchetty wrongly claimed Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick had been cleared by independent reports into the force’s handling of the case

Naga Munchetty wrongly claimed Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick had been cleared by independent reports into the force’s handling of the case

Mr Proctor said she had not and later filed a complaint with the BBC after it dismissed viewers’ concerns over his interview with Miss Munchetty on October 5, saying she had conducted it in a ‘fair and understanding manner’

Mr Proctor said she had not and later filed a complaint with the BBC after it dismissed viewers’ concerns over his interview with Miss Munchetty on October 5, saying she had conducted it in a ‘fair and understanding manner’

Mr Proctor said she had not and later filed a complaint with the BBC after it dismissed viewers’ concerns over his interview with Miss Munchetty on October 5, saying she had conducted it in a ‘fair and understanding manner’

Mr Frediani went on: ‘Naga was faced with a genuine editorial difficulty when you referred to Cressida Dick as a liar because of what she had said in an interview with another broadcaster.

‘As Naga did not have a transcript of these comments in front of her she was quite properly conscious of right to reply issues should the interview progress further along these lines.

‘I am, however, very sorry that you were upset by the exchanges and by our subsequent response but I hope I have been able to clarify what happened.’

In response, Mr Proctor told the BBC executive he ‘accepted’ his apology. He added: ‘I am grateful to you and to the BBC for considering my complaint.

‘Please pass on to Naga Munchetty my regards, it is nothing personal and it is a matter of professionalism both hers and mine.’

Mr Proctor claims that during an interview on LBC radio in September, Dame Cressida ‘lied’ about an aspect of the early stages of Operation Midland in late 2014.

A Met spokesman said: ‘The Commissioner did not give a false account to LBC.’

The BBC declined to comment on its private apology to Mr Proctor.

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