the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect
BBC’s announcement on Clarkson is the ‘right decision’ says BECTU

BECTU represents staff and freelancers across the BBC.

25 March 2015

Media and entertainment union, BECTU, which is recognised to represent staff at the BBC has issued the following statement following the BBC's decision ((25 March) to end Jeremy Clarkson's employment on Top Gear.

BBC’s announcement on Clarkson is the ‘right decision’ says BECTU

Commenting on the BBC’s decision not to renew the contract of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, Luke Crawley, BECTU assistant general secretary, said:

'Right decision'

“We don’t rejoice in today’s announcement but there is absolutely no doubt that the BBC’s decision to end its contractual arrangement with Jeremy Clarkson is the right one. Physical assault in the workplace is not acceptable, no matter how big the talent or how valuable the show.”

“Bullying and harassment in the creative sector is acknowledged to be a big issue. For the past 18 months, following on from the Savile enquiry, we have been working with BBC management to review the Corporation’s policy in this area. The new and stronger policy now extends to staff and freelancers and underlines that dignity at work is something everyone is entitled to. The policy also makes clear that complaints of misconduct will be taken very seriously.”

Talent workers are not above BBC policy

“Anything other than an end to Clarkson’s employment in these circumstances would have turned back the clock on this issue telling BBC staff, and the world which watches BBC operations, that talent can be treated above, and differently from, other BBC workers. That said, the truth is that if any BBC member of staff had assaulted a colleague in the way Clarkson’s debacle has been reported then the punishment would have been summary [immediate]dismissal.”

Dignity at work wins out over the bottom line

 “Today’s decision, at its most fundamental level, makes it clear that all BBC staff and freelancers are equal in respect of BBC policy. The decision is one which puts dignity at work ahead of the bottom line and we welcome that.” 

BECTU is the media and entertainment union. In addition to representing staff and freelancers at the BBC, the union represents staff and freelancers working across the creative sector in broadcasting, film, theatre, the arts and live events. 


For more information contact Luke Crawley, assistant general secretary on Or call BECTU head office on 020 7346 0900. 

Note for Editors:

In November 2013, BECTU worked with fellow unions in the creative sector on a project called Creating Without Conflict. The project produced two guides for staff and freelancers to help with incidences of bullying and harassment. These can be accessed here: