BBC sex-discrimination victory will open the floodgates for similar claims

The sex-discrimination victory by presenter Samira Ahmed against the BBC will open the floodgates for similar claims that will cost so much some staff will have to go, a Corporation insider has warned.

An employment tribunal last Friday found that Ms Ahmed suffered sex discrimination because Jeremy Vine was paid far more to present Points Of View on BBC1 than she was to host a similar programme, Newswatch, which is shown on the News Channel and BBC Breakfast.

Vine received £3,000 an episode, while Ms Ahmed was paid £440.

She is now claiming back pay believed to be worth up to £700,000, and a rush of similar claims is expected.

An employment tribunal last Friday found that Ms Ahmed suffered sex discrimination because Jeremy Vine was paid far more to present Points Of View on BBC1 than she was to host a similar programme, Newswatch

An employment tribunal last Friday found that Ms Ahmed suffered sex discrimination because Jeremy Vine was paid far more to present Points Of View on BBC1 than she was to host a similar programme, Newswatch

An employment tribunal last Friday found that Ms Ahmed suffered sex discrimination because Jeremy Vine was paid far more to present Points Of View on BBC1 than she was to host a similar programme, Newswatch

One BBC insider said: ‘This will open the floodgates for further claims running into millions of pounds and it may eventually mean that jobs will have to be cut.’

Two BBC presenters who last night spoke to The Mail on Sunday on the basis of anonymity insisted the BBC had been right to pay Vine more and were also highly critical of the way the BBC had presented its case at the tribunal.

One said: ‘Jeremy Vine is an extremely famous broadcaster and Samira Ahmed is not. It’s not like the situation with [Newsnight host] Emily Maitlis and [former Today presenter] Sarah Montague when there was a genuine feeling they had been underpaid. Samira, frankly, is just a very good self-publicist.’

Another said: ‘I know a lot of senior women who think the ruling is absurd. But the problem is the BBC has been woeful in its defence.’

One BBC insider said: ‘This will open the floodgates for further claims running into millions of pounds and it may eventually mean that jobs will have to be cut’

One BBC insider said: ‘This will open the floodgates for further claims running into millions of pounds and it may eventually mean that jobs will have to be cut’

One BBC insider said: ‘This will open the floodgates for further claims running into millions of pounds and it may eventually mean that jobs will have to be cut’

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday, BBC journalist and former China editor Carrie Gracie, who won a previous claim for back pay against the broadcaster, defended Ahmed’s decision to bring the action.

She said: ‘Samira has simply told the truth about an incoherent pay culture in court.’

The BBC last night declined to say how many members of staff were still in dispute over pay.

According to an insider, 97 per cent of all pay claims at the BBC, brought by about 1,300 staff including both men and women, have now been settled. 

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