Exclusive: BBC Director General Tim Davie To Speak At Private Meeting Of Tory MPs

The 1922 Committee appearance comes amid criticism of the corporation for refusing to call Hamas terrorists.
Tim Davie will speak at the 1922 committee next Wednesday.
Tim Davie will speak at the 1922 committee next Wednesday.
OLI SCARFF via Getty Images

BBC director general Tim Davie is to be grilled at a private meeting of Tory MPs, HuffPost UK can reveal.

In a highly unusual development, he will address the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers next Wednesday.

Committee chairman announcement Davie’s appearance in an email to Tory MPs which has been seen by HuffPost UK.

It comes amid the ongoing row over the corporation’s refusal to describe Palestinian militant group Hamas as terrorists.

However, it is understood Davie’s appearance at Committee Room 14 in the House of Commons was arranged in July, before the controversy.

Asked why he had been invited to attend the meeting, a 1922 Committee source said: “We thought it would be interesting.”

Labour shadow minister Justin Madders said: “If the Director General of the BBC wants to talk to MPs he should talk to all of them of all parties, not just some.”

High-profile figures, including tech billionaire Bill Gates, have spoken to the 1922 committee before.

But Davie’s appearance is controversial because he is a former Tory Party member and twice stood for election as a Conservative councillor in the 1990s.

Many Tory MPs are also highly critical of the BBC’s political coverage, which they believe has a left-wing bias.

BBC sources said Davie meets a range of people as part of his role and will be meeting Labour parliamentarians in the coming weeks.

But Labour sources said there were no plans for him to address a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Security minister Tom Tugenhadt criticised the corporation’s reporting of the Al-Ahli hospital blast in Gaza City during an interview on BBC Breakfast yesterday.

A post on X (formerly Twitter) by BBC World said: “Hundreds of people have been killed in an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza, according to Palestinian officials.”

Israel has denied responsibility for the carnage, which it has blamed on a misfiring rocket by the Hamas militant group.

US president Joe Biden was due to meet with Arab leaders in the region, but those talks were cancelled in the wake of the blast.

Tugenhandt was asked by presenter Charlie Stayt who the UK government thought was responsible for the hospital deaths.

He said: “We’ve seen some pretty wild speculation and some rushing to headlines in recent days.

“This is first and foremost a human tragedy. We know that some people have been killed there and we also know that the Al-Ahli hospital was offering a service to Palestinian civilians that is incredibly needed at the moment.

“However, the reporting that we’ve seen in recent days has already had a major cost. President Biden was due to meet with Arab leaders, including probably Mahmood Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, and to begin the conversations that could have led to peace.

“Those talks have been stopped - perhaps only pushed back, we hope - and that in itself as a cost. But we’ve also seen the destruction of a synagogue in Tunisia and sadly we’ve seen raising tensions in the United Kingdom.

“This is one of those moments where wild speculation, fast and loose reporting, has real costs and consequences and I’m not going to engage in it.”

Before You Go