Justin Milne resigns from ABC

September 27, 2018

The leadership crisis at the ABC has deepened, with chairman Justin Milne bowing to mounting internal and external pressures, and resigning as the national broadcaster’s chairman.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi says he is concerned this whole issue will now be politicised by Labor and the Greens who have called for a Senate inquiry.

The Daily Telegraph reports, Milne’s tenure at the helm of the ABC board was due to continue until 2022, however the position became untenable after reports emerged that Mr Milne had called for two ABC journalists, economics reporter Emma Alberici and politics reporter Andrew Probyn, to be sacked following complaints from then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Questions were raised about political interference a the ABC and Labor and the Greens called for a Senator inquiry.

Speaking to the ABC, Milne said the board had requested he stand aside while the investigation into the various allegations against him was conducted, but he concluded resigning was the better option.

“Clearly there is a lot of pressure on the organisation, and as always, my interests, my aims, is to look after the aims of the corporation,” he said. “It’s clearly not a good thing for everybody to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on.

“I wanted to provide a release valve,” he told Leigh Sales.

He said there was absolutely no interference in the independence of the ABC, despite the allegations levied against him.

“Nobody from the government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC,” he claimed. “Nobody ever told me to hire anybody, fire anybody, or anything else. They absolutely didn’t.”

The full interview with Milne will screen on the ABC’s 7:30 program with Sales tonight.

Senator Bernardi has told the ABC's Sabra Lane the language Mr Milne allegedly used was quite strong.

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