The front-runner to become head of the BBC’s news channels posted a series of now-deleted Left-wing tweets in which she railed against Boris Johnson, Brexit and Britain’s imperial past, as the row over her proposed appointment goes on.
Jess Brammar promoted a “shocking” article suggesting black people would leave the UK if Mr Johnson was re-elected in 2019 and said Brexit was like a popular TV comedy drama but “less funny”.
Her proposed appointment has caused a row among BBC board members because of the apparent Left-wing bias in her social media comments over several years.
Sir Robbie Gibb, director of communications for Theresa May before joining the BBC board, allegedly tried to block the appointment, suggesting it would erode public trust in the corporation.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the Commons, said the BBC was doing itself “a lot of damage” by overlooking candidates from the Right.
If she is confirmed in the role, Ms Brammar will be expected to uphold the BBC’s strict rules on impartiality. In recent years, however, she has been anything but impartial in a series of tweets posted while she was working for The Huffington Post.
Ms Brammar’s now-deleted tweets
In December 2019, referring to an article by a colleague which said “black Brits” were “genuinely considering leaving the UK because of the level of racism, particularly if Boris Johnson wins”, she added that: “It won’t be a surprise to people who live this reality every day, and in admitting my shock I show my ignorance as a white woman.”
In a tweet about a BBC interview with Mr Johnson, she listed “five things the Prime Minister said that aren’t true” and in February urged people to “fight for a properly funded NHS”.
In 2019, Ms Brammar, who was previously deputy editor of Newsnight on BBC Two, tweeted that Brexit was like the Netflix drama Better Call Saul, about a shady lawyer, “but less funny or interesting or enjoyable”.
In January, Ms Brammar recommended buying a book about British imperialism by Sathnam Sanghera “to p— off all the racists having a go at him”, and in March she wrote about “how it’s not even controversial to say there is racism in the British press”.
Ms Brammar has been prolific on Twitter, but more than 16,000 of her past tweets have been deleted. Friends say she uses software that automatically deletes her tweets after one month, a practice that long pre-dates her application for the BBC job. However, the deleted tweets remain viewable on third-party websites.
The row comes after Tim Davie, the new director-general of the BBC, said its journalists should be “activists for impartiality”, and threatened to sack employees, including on-screen stars, who break the rules. A BBC spokesman said: “We don’t comment on ongoing recruitment processes.”
Ms Brammar declined to comment.