BBC host Chris Packham faces called to be sacked  after XR Tweet

BBC host Chris Packham faces called to be sacked after urging followers to flock to XR demo in London – as Corporation stresses ‘social media guidance remains in place’ for presenters in wake of Gary Lineker row

  • Chris Packham faces calls to be sacked after urging followers to join XR protest  
  • BBC presenter, 61, asked his followers to attend the London rally this weekend

BBC presenter Chris Packham is facing calls to be sacked after he urged his followers to join XR eco-zealots in a four-day protest outside Parliament this weekend.

The nature lover, 61, asked his Twitter followers to attend the eco rally from April 21-24, in London, sparking furious backlash online.

After his Tweet, the BBC stressed that ‘social media guidance for freelancers is ongoing’. 

The Corporation is still reeling from the fallout of the Gary Lineker scandal, which saw the freelance presenter taken off the air because of a tweet comparing the Government’s migrant crackdown to Nazi Germany. 

Followers of Packham said the BBC Springwatch co-presenter should be ‘sacked’ and said he was ‘using your celebrity platform to cause mayhem and disruption’.

Extinction Rebellion protesters will descend on the capital this weekend in a protests against fossil fuels

Packham said the event would be a ‘family affair’ and urged his followers to attend the event, dubbed the Big One 

Packham urged other environmentalists to come together as Extinction Rebellion demands ministers to enter negotiations for a citizens’ assembly and an end to the ‘fossil fuel era’.

Packham said: ‘It’s the Big One. Yes it’s the Big One that we’ve all been waiting for.

‘A family-friendly affair, lots of fantastic events, fantastic speakers and most important of all some fantastic ideas. 

‘How we can change the world to make it a better place for people and wildlife and we can secure its future too.

‘I’m going to be there on the 22nd, it’s Biodiversity Earth Day, chipping in on that account. I hope to see you.

‘It’s really important at this time that we all recognise that we all have a role to play on making sure that our planet has a safe and secure and healthy future.

‘So please come along.’

The BBC told MailOnline: ‘We aren’t commenting on individual tweets, but the review into our social media guidance for freelancers is ongoing. 

‘The existing social media guidance remains in place.’ 

Packham’s followers hit back furiously at the presenter, deriding him for his comments about XR today

Extinction Rebellion has invited 100,000 protesters to come and bring London to a standstill by leading a four-day protest outside the Houses of Parliament this weekend. 

The group has claimed that thousands have registered for the protest which will see eco-zealots from more than 200 organisations will descend on the capital from Friday to Monday to rally against the climate crisis. 

The protest will take place on the same weekend as the London Marathon.

London Marathon director Hugh Brasher said: ‘We’re aware of the Extinction Rebellion protest that is scheduled to take place in Parliament Square and have been in contact with them for some months.

‘The Extinction Rebellion organisers have assured us that they do not wish to disrupt the TCS London Marathon.   

READ MORE Revealed: Just Stop Oil zealot who disrupted snooker game is Exeter University student, 25, who was jailed for blocking oil terminal, has glued himself to gallery painting 

‘As Parliament Square and the immediate surrounding area will be very busy, we advise spectators to watch the London Marathon from other locations and avoid the Parliament Square area on the day.

‘As always, we are working closely with the Metropolitan Police and other stakeholders on the safety and security of the event.’

It’s not the first time the BBC star Chris Packham has been under fire last night over allegedly breaching impartiality rules after.

Last year he found himself in hot water after urging his fans to donate money to an extreme Left-wing news website.

The wildlife presenter was accused of breaching impartiality rules after he told his 577,000 Twitter followers that Novara Media was ‘a breath of fresh air’ as he posted a link to its fundraising page.

The media organisation is run by Aaron Bastani, who organised chaotic UK Uncut protests and blasted the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal as ‘racist’ and ‘grotesque’.

Novara Media was nicknamed Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘unofficial propaganda machine’ during his tenure as Labour leader. Its senior editor Ash Sarkar is a self-declared communist.

But Mr Packham heaped praise on it in November, Tweeting: ‘It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find integrity, honesty and truth in news but one place you will find it is at Novara Media.’

He included a weblink to a fundraising page on Novara’s website. It was accompanied by a video in which Mr Packham tells Mr Bastani: ‘You bring a little bit of joy to my life. In an age when there is no decent news, it’s really refreshing to have the facts and figures graphically and clearly well presented in short form.’

At the time the BBC said: ‘Impartiality at the BBC is sacrosanct and we have established strong and clear guidelines for social media use. Chris is not exclusive to the BBC, isn’t a factual journalist and isn’t speaking as a BBC presenter.’ 

Marjin van de Geer, an XR spokeswoman, said activists will ‘remain very disruptive’ but that this weekend’s protest is not the same ‘intentional disruption in the way that you’ve seen from Extinction Rebellion in the past’.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) said the organisations are demanding an end to all licences, funding and approval for new fossil fuel projects and the immediate creation of ’emergency citizen assemblies’.

XR warned that if Rishi Sunak’s government does not agree to enter talks by 5pm on April 24, they will ramp up their campaigns.

On Tuesday evening the group pleaded with members not to resort to violence.

In a ‘unity agreement’ posted by an XR Telegram channel, the group asked for protesters to ‘uphold the principle of non-violence in all our words and deeds’. 

Dozens of eco-zealot groups have threatened to ‘step up’ their stunts in ‘new and inventive ways’ unless the Government enters into talks over fossil fuels (Pictured: Activists from Extinction Rebellion demonstrate at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, central London, last April) 

XR’s Marijn van de Geer (pictured) told a press conference on Tuesday: ‘From today, we are putting the Government on notice’

Ms Van de Geer claims more than 28,000 people have signed up to participate in the upcoming protest. The group expects that several people who have not registered online will also turn up at the event. 

‘Having 30,000 people in the Westminster area may cause some logistical disruption,’ she admitted. ‘There’s nothing we can do about that.’

But Ms Van de Geer noted that XR has taken public criticisms into account and will not be ‘disrupting’ London in the same way they have previously.

READ MORE: Revealed: Just Stop Oil zealot who disrupted snooker game is Exeter University student, 25, who was jailed for blocking oil terminal

Just Stop Oil protester Edred Whittingham, a 25-year-old Philosophy, Politics and Economics student at Exeter University, tossed orange powder over a snooker table during the World Championship before being dragged away

‘So we just want to really highlight that the four days of the big one are not intended as public disruption,’ she added.

‘This is really for gathering, coming together, getting to know one another and deliberation.

‘We will be using forms of deliberative democracy, deliberating with each other, exchanging ideas, learning from each other, listening, especially.

‘So there’s not going to be any intention over those four days to disrupt the public.

The coalition of eco-warriors has also threatened to ramp up their stunts in ‘new and inventive ways’ over the coming weeks unless the Government agrees to discuss two ultimatums. 

Among those supporting the demands are Global Justice Now, Don’t Pay UK, the PCS union, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. 

On Tuesday, Ms Van de Geer told a press conference: ‘From today, we are putting the Government on notice.

‘They have seven days to agree to enter negotiations around these two demands or we will step up our campaigns in new and inventive ways, working towards a coalition unprecedented in size.’

She said the Government has until April 24 ‘to agree to enter negotiations about the two collective demands that we have presented to them today’.

Ms van de Geer added: ‘If we don’t get a response, at 10am on Tuesday April 25 Extinction Rebellion will build an unprecedented coalition, stepping up our campaigns in the weeks and months ahead along three pathways – that is to picket to stand in solidarity with the strikers, to organise locally and to disobey.’

Extinction Rebellion protesters last November being removed by South Wales Police from Barclays in Cardiff, South Wales

Activists from Extinction Rebellion blocking Lambeth Bridge in central London in April 2022

Ms van de Geer said: ‘We’ve come back stronger than ever, with unions, NGOs, ethical companies and a whole host of environmental groups all united in our call for political change and action to protect all life on Earth.’

She said ‘the big one’ will ‘be a period of connecting and music and dance but also it is a four-day coming together of over 200 groups with memberships totalling millions of people in this country and globally to decide what more radical action would look like for them’.

She added: ‘So across these four days everyone will deliberate on what comes next if the Government refuses this major opportunity to engage with our demands, because we all agree the clock is ticking for every human and non-human alive today and none of us should and will sit quietly while time runs out.’

Source: Read Full Article