After the BBC issued new social media guidelines for corporation staffers that set out rules that warn against news and current affairs staff expressing political opinions, DG Tim Davie has issued a letter to staff saying this does not preclude attendance at Pride parades.

Davie said that following “inaccurate commentary and some feedback from staff” There is “no ban on attending Pride parades.”

He said the published guidance “made it very clear that staff outside of news and current affairs and factual journalism may attend marches, demonstrations and protests as private individuals.”

And while there are “different considerations for staff who work in news and current affairs and factual journalism (and senior leaders) I want to be clear that there is no issue for these staff attending community events that are clearly celebratory or commemorative and do not compromise perceptions of their impartiality.

“If news and current affairs staff are participating in such events they must be mindful of ensuring that they do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial. There is no ban on these staff attending Pride events. Attending Pride parades is possible within the guidelines, but due care needs to be given to the guidance and staff need to ensure that they are not seen to be taking a stand on politicised or contested issues.

“Protecting the BBC’s impartiality is core to everything we do. We must ensure that we avoid doing anything that endangers audience perceptions of the BBC’s impartiality and to protect the ability of staff in news and current affairs to report fairly and impartially.”

Jon Creamer