Munchetty breached BBC rules with Trump comments

Naga Munchetty

Image caption

Munchetty has been a presenter on BBC Breakfast for the last 10 years

Naga Munchetty breached BBC guidelines by criticising President Donald Trump for perceived racism, the corporation’s complaints unit has ruled.

In July the BBC presenter took issue with comments made by the US President after he told opponents to “go back” to the “places from which they came”.

The BBC said the Breakfast host was entitled to her own views but had gone “beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

No action has yet been taken against the former Strictly contestant.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation’s Executive Complaints Unit [ECU] had ruled that “while Ms Munchetty was entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go back to your own country’ as it was rooted in her own experience, overall her comments went beyond what the guidelines allow for”.


Speaking on BBC Breakfast on 17 July after Mr Trump’s online remarks, Munchetty said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.

“Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

Her comments followed Mr Trump posting several messages that made references to the Democrat politicians Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he wrote on Twitter on 14 July.

The BBC journalist received praise online for her “off-script” moment.

Image Copyright @MarinaHyde

Twitter post by @MarinaHyde: This was a powerful off-script moment from the always brilliant @BBCNaga Image Copyright @MarinaHyde

The ECU found Munchetty’s assertion that Mr Trump’s comments were “embedded in racism” went beyond what the BBC allows and upheld a complaint made about the presenter’s comments.

The spokeswoman added: “A summary of the complaint and the decision to partially uphold it will be published on the complaints pages of, and as normal this will include a note of any action taken as a result of the finding.”

Labour MP David Lammy called the ECU’s decision “appalling”, while journalist Kevin Maguire said it was a “bad, bad day”.

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