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BBC World Service

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

Let me begin by clearing up the first point. I did not in any way suggest that the Government intervene in editorial comment; it was more that they might intervene to secure the ability to broadcast, to help with infrastructure and to extend the BBC Russian service.

On the second point, the e-mail that I received was a way of illustrating the problems that one will have with the television service as opposed to the radio service if one is not able to gain access to the country. I was not in any way suggesting that the e-mail represented the sole view about the BBC Russian service.

[Official Report, 16 December 2008, Vol. 485, c. 22WH.]

Letter of correction from Bill Rammell:

An error has been identified in the answer given to the hon. Member for Hammersmith and Fulham (Mr. Hands) on 16 December 2008, Official Report, column 22WH. The full answer given was as follows:

…He asked me several other detailed questions, including whether the advertising process for the director of the World Service will be open, and open to external candidates. I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that, on both points, they will.

[Official Report, 16 December 2008, Vol. 485, c. 22WH.]

I understand that on the 23 December the BBC World Service decided to open the recruitment process up to external candidates. However, at the time of the debate this was not the case. The correct answer should have been:

…He asked me several other detailed questions, including whether the advertising process for the director of the World Service will be open, and open to external candidates. The recruitment will be an open process but the position is open to internal candidates only.

I apologise for any confusion this has caused.