Carol Vorderman leaves BBC radio show over new social media guidelines

The 62-year-old has been vocal in her criticism of the Government on social media and has had several online arguments with Tory MPs.

Carol Vorderman leaves BBC Wales radio show after five years over corporation’s new social media guidelines PA Media

Carol Vorderman has announced she is leaving her BBC radio show because she is “not prepared to lose my voice” after the corporation introduced new social media guidelines.

The 62-year-old former Countdown star said management had decided she should give up her Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Wales over a breach of the guidelines.

Vorderman has been vocal in her criticism of the Government on social media and has had several arguments on X, formerly Twitter, with Tory MPs.

In a statement, she said: “The BBC recently introduced new social media guidelines, which I respect.

“However, despite my show being light-hearted with no political content, it was explained to me that, as it is a weekly show in my name, the new guidelines would apply to all and any content that I post all year round.

“Since those non-negotiable changes to my radio contract were made, I’ve ultimately found that I’m not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in.

“My decision has been to continue to criticise the current UK Government for what it has done to the country which I love – and I’m not prepared to stop. I was brought up to fight for what I believe in, and I will carry on.

“Consequently I have now breached the new guidelines and BBC Wales management have decided I must leave. We each must make our decisions.

“I’m sad to have to leave the wonderful friends I’ve made at Radio Wales. I wish them, and all of our listeners, all the love in the world. We laughed a lot, and we will miss each other dearly

“But, for now, another interesting chapter begins.”

Under the BBC’s new social media guidelines, presenters on flagship programmes including Match Of The Day (MOTD) and The Apprentice have been banned from making attacks on political parties.

The corporation said the guidance does not include contributors, pundits, judges or guest hosts but it has put through additional guidance for freelancers along with those not working in news, current affairs or factual journalism production.

In September, the broadcaster said these type of employees “must not bring the BBC into disrepute”, are required to be respectful in public, and take care when engaging with public debate.

The new guidelines followed a row over MOTD presenter Gary Lineker comparing the language used by the Conservative Government to promote its asylum plans to 1930s Germany on X, which led to him briefly not presenting the show, a boycott by sports staff and a social media review.

This month, Vorderman has questioned if the Conservative Party is the “sleaziest in history” and wrote on X that the public is “ashamed” about the home secretary’s recent remarks about homelessness.

Suella Braverman claimed on the social media platform that rough sleeping is sometimes a “lifestyle choice” and called for an end to “pitching tents in public spaces”.

Vorderman quoted her post, saying: “What I want to stop, and what the law-abiding majority wants to stop, is your vile government clinging on to power for a day longer.

“You don’t speak for us. Every week you debase democracy further. We’re ashamed of you. Go now.”

The presenter has also been outspoken about the UK Covid-19 Inquiry and claimed “While people died, NHS was on its knees & money was funnelled to the VIP Lane.”

The “VIP lane” refers to some coronavirus-related contracts which were fast-tracked when the Government was struggling to buy protective equipment during the pandemic.

Vorderman has also posted a number of critical remarks about Johnny Mercer’s performance as veterans’ affairs minister.

The pair have had several public arguments and he has referred to her on X as a “deeply unpleasant person”.

In March, Vorderman called on women’s minister Maria Caulfield to resign after she claimed she could not “be bothered to turn up” to a committee hearing about the menopause.

In September, she is said to have deleted a number of posts about Conservative chairman Greg Hands.

Mr Hands had called on her to apologise for what he called “defamatory and damaging” tweets about his involvement in a lifestyle firm being awarded a £25.8m personal protective equipment contract in 2020.

Writing on X, Vorderman said she was “happy to accept Mr Hands’ assurance that his role in the process was simply to refer the approach… (and) there was no impropriety on his part”.

However, when Michael Gove was education secretary more than a decade ago, Vorderman was announced as the head of a maths taskforce.

A BBC spokesman said: “Carol has been a presenter on BBC Radio Wales since 2018. We’d like to thank her for her work and contribution to the station over the past five years.”

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