The minister said he couldn’t understand why the taxpayer-funded broadcaster flew presenters Annabel Crabb and Jeremy Fernandez to the UK for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials.
“Why they need to send people across when they’ve already got correspondents in the UK is beyond me. If you have a look at the largesse of their studios at the ABC, these bonuses they’ve just paid out, I’d love to know the criteria,” Dutton told 2GB radio today.
But the broadcaster has rejected a News Corp report, insisting it only paid for economy flights – not business class – for flying its staff to London.
Hi @MatthewBenns – I’d message you personally but Twitter won’t allow me so I’ll have to tell you publicly your story in the Telegraph is wrong. Check out Jeremy’s Instagram photo from his economy class seat. And the London Bureau is delighted to have them here.
— Lisa Millar (@LisaMillar) May 17, 2018
It also defended sending presenters to London, which News Corp reported had infuriated staff in the ABC’s London bureau.
“ABC audiences expect more than simply a live feed and news reports of such a major event,” the ABC said.
“Co-hosts Annabel Crabb and Jeremy Fernandez will enrich our coverage by providing in-depth and insightful commentary that informs, engages and entertains our audiences.”
In a statement, the ABC said the royal wedding “is of national and international significance, and as the national broadcaster the ABC is uniquely positioned to provide quality, distinctive coverage that localises the event for all Australians”.
– with AAP
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