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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 November, 2004, 17:53 GMT
John Humphrys 'hectored' minister
John Humphrys and Sarah Montague on BBC Radio 4's Today programme
John Humphrys co-hosts BBC Radio 4's flagship Today programme
BBC radio news presenter John Humphrys has been censured after being accused of "hectoring" a government minister.

The BBC has upheld three complaints that Humphrys interrupted home office minister Hazel Blears too much on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on 28 June.

Humphrys' interview dealt with "issues of legitimate public concern" and his interventions were meant to stop her avoiding the questions, the BBC said.

But she should have had more chance "to develop her response" at times.

'Culture of spin'

Today editor Kevin Marsh took action when he "discussed the interview with relevant members of the team", according to the BBC's latest programme complaints bulletin.

An unnamed Radio 4 news presenter was also criticised for expressing views on the government's supposed "culture of spin" in an interview with a minister on The World at One in January.

The corporation received 284 complaints between 1 July-30 September, of which 49 were upheld.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said the corporation was "now well on the way" to implementing a new system of dealing with complaints, which will come into force at the start of 2005.




SEE ALSO:
BBC's Humphrys slates reality TV
28 Aug 04  |  Entertainment
BBC pledges complaints 'openness'
19 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
Humphrys slams Campbell's speech
09 Feb 04  |  Politics
Humphrys rapped by BBC
02 Aug 00  |  Wales


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