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Samira Ahmed, BBC reach settlement in equal pay case


Newswatch presenter Samira Ahmed had claimed the BBC owed her about £700,000, citing pay disparity between her and Points of View host Jeremy Vine. (Photo: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images)
Newswatch presenter Samira Ahmed had claimed the BBC owed her about £700,000, citing pay disparity between her and Points of View host Jeremy Vine. (Photo: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images)

THE BBC and Newswatch presenter Samira Ahmed have agreed on an undisclosed financial settlement in the equal pay case that was heard by a tribunal.

Ahmed had claimed the broadcaster owed her about £700,000, citing the disparity between her pay packet of £440 per episode for Newswatch and Jeremy Vine’s £3,000 for each Points of View episode.

The employment tribunal concluded in January that the BBC had failed to negate allegations of gender discrimination in fixing pay packages.

The BBC had reportedly argued that Vine was more famous and had a “glint in his eyes”.

The tribunal judges, however, noted that there were only “minor differences” in what the two presenters did in their respective shows, and ruled in Ahmed’s favour.

They also opined that Vine presented his show as per the script. “He read it in the tone in which it was written. If it told him to roll his eyes, he did. It did not require any particular skill or experience to do that,” they wrote.

After brief deliberation, the BBC decided not to appeal against the verdict.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Samira Ahmed and the BBC are pleased to have reached a settlement following the recent tribunal.

“Samira is a highly valued BBC presenter and now these matters have been concluded we all want to focus on the future.

We look forward to continuing to work together to make great programmes for audiences.

“Neither the BBC, Samira or the NUJ [National Union of Journalists] will be commenting further on this case.”

Analysts said the case “provides hope to the many other women still pursuing the BBC over historical equal pay cases”.

Ahmed said she was “glad it’s been resolved”. After the tribunal verdict, she had said: “I love working for the BBC. No woman wants to have to take action against their own employer.”