Original Naga Munchetty complaint also mentioned Dan Walker

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Media captionThis exchange, broadcast on 17 July, sparked the complaint

The original complaint about Naga Munchetty’s Donald Trump comments also mentioned her Breakfast co-host Dan Walker, the BBC has confirmed.

However, the complainant focused on Munchetty at the third and final stage of the complaints process.

Last week, the BBC partially upheld a complaint against Munchetty.

The Breakfast presenter had criticised the US President’s motives after he had said four female politicians should “go back” to “places from which they came”.

Munchetty is not facing any disciplinary action or reprimand.

The BBC complaints procedure has three stages, with the third and final being referral to the executive complaints board (ECU).

A BBC spokesman said: “The appeal to the ECU focused on comments by one presenter, but the statement from the executive team on Friday is clear, the BBC is not impartial on racism. Racism is not an opinion and it is not a matter for debate. Racism is racism. Naga has the very clear support of the top of the organisation.”

Speaking last week, the BBC’s head of editorial standards, David Jordan, said Walker did not help the situation by leading the conversation into the sphere of opinion.

“Dan Walker’s contribution was not, as it were, helpful in the context. It could be said that Dan Walker kind of led Naga Munchetty to the conclusion that she eventually made,” he said.

“I’m afraid the Executive Complaints Unit deals with the complaints it gets, so some people say why isn’t Dan Walker being singled out in the same way? The simple fact is we haven’t had a complaint.”

Munchetty received messages of support from both inside and outside the BBC following the ECU’s ruling.

Dozens of black actors and broadcasters called on the BBC to overturn its decision to uphold the complaint against Munchetty.

Sir Lenny Henry and Gina Yashere are among 44 stars who asked the BBC to revisit the ruling in an open letter.

The BBC said the letter was “based on a misunderstanding of the editorial guidelines and how they apply”.

What did Naga Munchetty say in the first place?

Walker: It’s the president. That was the most telling quote for me last night. I can’t remember who said it, but she said, ‘I’ve been told to go home many times to go back to where I’ve come from many times in my life, but never by the man sitting in the Oval Office’.

Munchetty: Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here but you know what certain phrases mean.

Walker: Do you hear that quite regularly?

Munchetty: Yes. Not regularly, but I’ve been told it.

Walker: You’re sitting here not giving an opinion, but how do you feel as someone when you’ve been told that before, and when you hear that from him?

Munchetty: Furious. Absolutely furious. And I imagine a lot of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s OK to skirt the lines with using language like that.

Walker: Do you feel his use of that then legitimises other people to use this…

Munchetty: Yes. Yes.

Walker: As our guest was saying there, it feels like a thought-out strategy to strengthen his position.

Munchetty: And it is not enough to do it just to get attention. He’s in a responsible position. Anyway I’m not here to give my opinion.

What do the BBC editorial guidelines say?

The guidelines say presenters can have a “significant effect” on whether the corporation is seen as impartial. Mr Jordan said Munchetty fell foul of the following part of the impartiality section of the guidelines:

“Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal opinions of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on ‘controversial subjects’ in any other area.

“They may provide professional judgements, rooted in evidence, but may not express personal views on such matters publicly, including in any BBC-branded output or on personal blogs and social media.”

Meanwhile, Ofcom said it would assess whether to investigate Munchetty’s remarks against its broadcasting code. The media regulator said it had received two complaints, with Labour MP Chi Onwurah posting her letter to Ofcom on Twitter.

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