Naga Munchetty speaks out on ‘morally unacceptable’ pay gap after BBC co-star’s tribunal

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Naga Munchetty, 45, is not afraid to speak her mind, even when it come to issues within the workplace. After backing her BBC colleague Samira Ahmed in her pay dispute back in January of 2020, the BBC Breakfast host was more than happy to brand pay inequality “morally unacceptable”.

There is no argument to be had against equal pay

Naga Munchetty

Presenter Samira won the employment tribunal she brought against the BBC in a dispute over equal pay.

The Newswatch star claimed she was underpaid by £700,000 for hosting the audience feedback show when it was compared with Jeremy Vine’s salary for his program Points of View.

She had told the tribunal, which ended in November, that she “could not understand how pay for me, a woman, could be so much lower than Jeremy Vine, a man, for presenting very similar programmes and doing very similar work”.

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The BBC revealed Jeremy was paid £3,000 per episode between 2008 and 2018 whereas Samira got £440 for Newswatch, which is shown on the BBC News Channel and BBC Breakfast.

After the verdict, she said she was “glad it’s been resolved”.

In a recent interview, Naga opened up on the issue surrounding gender equality when it comes to pay, saying: “There is no argument to be had against equal pay.

“Never mind the fact that it was always morally unacceptable, it’s socially unacceptable to not believe in equality.”

Elsewhere, this morning is Naga’s first day of a new job she’ll see through every Monday to Wednesday, after she was named as replacement for Radio 5 Live’s mid-morning programme presenter Emma Barnett.

After three years, Emma has stepped down from the role, leaving it in the capable hands of the BBC star.

“I’m a really big fan of Emma’s,” Naga told Radio Times.

“I have a hell of a lot of time for her. I think she is one of the most tenacious and sharp interviewers we have at the BBC. But I’m not Emma, and Emma is not me.”

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She touched on the criticism she receives from BBC viewers, but noted the job is all that matters.

“There will always be those who say you didn’t get an answer, or you didn’t push, or you were too shouty,” she explained.

“I get an equal amount of criticism from both sides. You have to have faith in the audience.

“It’s certainly not about you winning points on anyone. It’s about doing your job.”

Naga’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

And while we enter a new year following the challenging year before, Naga looks towards the future with positivity.

“We’re coming out of a year of hell,” she acknowledged.

“I want the programme to offer a message of hope, positivity and joy.”

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One and Naga’s Radio 5 Live slot will begin at 10am.

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