There is someone trying to hold the BBC to account.

Lena Ferguson, with Channel 4 colleague Alex Thomson, is taking a bullying case against the BBC. Photo Matthew Fearn/AP

The Sunday Times October 18th 2020

“An award-winning television producer has launched legal proceedings against BBC Northern Ireland at the High Court in Belfast seeking damages for alleged bullying.

The case is being taken by Lena Ferguson, who has a longstanding relationship with the station. A former head of BBC Northern Ireland’s politics department, she left that position in 2006 to pursue a freelance TV career. She was commissioned to make several documentaries for the station, including two episodes of Spotlight on the Troubles.

It was during the making of the acclaimed television series that Ferguson alleges she was forced to leave the station after being subjected to bullying, foul-mouthed abuse and intimidation. Ferguson claims she had no option but to resign in March 2019 during the final stages of editing episodes which examined Britain’s intelligence war against the Provisional IRA.

She is suing BBC Northern Ireland for breach of its duty of care to provide a safe working environment, and is seeking substantial damages for injuries arising from loss of income, reputational damage and being subjected to conduct that could result in psychological damage.

The television producer is represented by Rosemary Connolly, a solicitor who specialises in employment and equality issues.

Ferguson is one of a number of BBC employees and freelancers who claim to have been subjected to bullying while working for the station in Belfast. A number of BBC staff members have made statements outlining allegations of bullying dating back 20 years. The outcome of the BBC’s internal investigations into these matters is unknown.

The issue of bullying at BBC Northern Ireland was raised at the House of Commons in June by Gregory Campbell, a DUP MP, who asked John Whittingdale, Britain’s culture minister, to comment on the matter. Whittingdale said day-to-day staffing issues at the broadcaster were a matter for the BBC board and declined to comment further.

Ferguson was threatened with imprisonment for refusing to reveal the identity of British soldiers the programme had interviewed when she appeared before Lord Saville as chairman of the tribunal which examined the events of Bloody Sunday.

Ferguson declined to comment when contacted last week. A spokesman for BBC Northern Ireland said it did not comment on individuals.”

Belfast Telegraph Mon 27 Jun 2022 Alan Erwin

“The BBC must disclose documents from internal complaint investigations to a journalist suing over alleged bullying, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice McAlinden ordered discovery in favour of Lena Ferguson for her lawsuit against the BBC. The freelance producer is taking legal action in connection with an alleged incident involving former BBC NI head of TV current affairs Jeremy Adams.

Her claim relates to a meeting in March 2019 while working on current affairs programme Spotlight. She alleges that during discussions Mr Adams subjected her to an “outburst of uncontrollable rage”, the court heard.

Ms Ferguson was so shaken and humiliated that she had to leave the building, according to her case. That version of events is categorically disputed by Mr Adams, who has since left the BBC under voluntary redundancy arrangements.

An internal inquiry concluded Ms Ferguson’s bullying and harassment allegations were not upheld. The same outcome was reached after complaints by some other members of staff.”

If she wins, it will be a huge kickup the ass for the BBC – it’s only when money is involved that management sits up and takes notice. If it’s ruled that the BBC failed in their duty of care, it could be a huge boot up the ass for all employers – with any luck!

#EndWrkPlaceBullying #WorkplaceBullying #BullyingAtBeeb #BullyingAtBBC #BullyingAtWork #WorkplaceBullying

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