BBC Breakfast: Charlie Stayt pokes fun at Robert Jenrick's flag
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The BBC Breakfast star became engulfed in a spat about British patriotism and impartiality. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was sarcastically mocked by Naga’s co-host, Charlie Stayt, for his Union Jack not being “up to standard size” for “Government interview measurements”. The large flag hung in the background alongside a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, during Mr Jenrick’s interview on the show.
Charlie continued: “I think it’s just a little small, but that’s your department really.”
After the swipe, Mr Jenrick awkwardly chuckled and Naga had to cover her face to stifle her laughter before Charlie clarified what he meant.
Last week, he said: “Every time, every time! We’ve seen it every day, haven’t we?”
Naga continued: “It’s always a flag, always a flag! He had the picture of the Queen there as well though.”
The BBC Breakfast star “assumed” the interview had taken place “in the Westminster Offices”.
Naga and Charlie’s remarks seemed to suggest the background for Mr Jenrick’s interview was staged to look more patriotic.
The TV stars came under fire for joking about the Union Jack flag size and later Naga was warned after she “liked” tweets mocking the MP.
The BBC received a number of complaints for the broadcast and later said the remark was “meant as a light-hearted, off-the-cuff comment”.
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They clarified that “no offence or disrespect was intended” and that the BBC Breakfast stars had “been spoken to”.
During their telling off, the corporation “reminded” Naga and Charlie of the “BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines”.
On Twitter, Naga “apologised” for “any offence taken” after she “‘liked’ tweets” that were “offensive in nature about the use of the British flag”.
She claimed to have “since removed these ‘likes’” and reiterated that they did not “represent the views of me or the BBC”.
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The Union Jack row came amid BBC journalists being told to remain in-line with the corporation’s impartiality and social media rules.
Piers Morgan remained surprisingly quiet during the debate but fiercely defended Naga over a similar silencing in the past.
The TV star quit ITV’s Good Morning Britain after being called out for his views about Meghan Markle earlier this month.
Piers stormed off the ITV set after weatherman Alex Beresford called out the star’s remarks about the royal.
On Radio 4’s The Media Show last year, Piers warned about “woke culture” and feared “sensitivity” would lead to censorship of the public and debates.
In 2019, Piers sprung to the defence of Naga after she was criticised for remarks about former US President Donald Trump.
Naga called out the leader’s comments about ‘The Squad’ – a group of young, women of colour who campaigned against Mr Trump’s immigration policies.
After they criticised Mr Trump, he told his Democrat rivals to “go back to the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came” on Twitter.
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‘The Squad’ consisted of Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, who are all US citizens.
Naga brought up Mr Trump’s remarks during an interview with one of his supporters on BBC Breakfast.
She said: “Every time I have been told – as a woman of colour – to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.”
Naga clarified that she was “not accusing anyone of anything” but argued: “You know what certain phrases mean.”
She was “absolutely furious” after reading Mr Trump’s tweets and after the outburst was warned for breaking the BBC’s impartiality rules.
After the corporation’s verdict, Piers took to Twitter to defend Naga because he thought “the BBC will gag my breakfast show rival”.
He claimed the corporation would stop her “from saying anything about this” and added: “Allow me: it’s bloody ridiculous.”
Piers described Naga’s words as “powerful and necessary” and slammed the corporation for “shameful censorship”.
Following the recent row over the Union Jack, Naga apologised after the corporation received complaints from “unhappy” viewers.
BBC Director General Tim Davie, who took over last September, was quizzed about the use of flags during a parliamentary hearing on Monday.
Conservative Party MP James Wild asked the BBC head why the Union Jack did not feature in their annual report.
In response, Mr Davie said the BBC were “very proud of being British” and had been “out there selling British abroad… for years”.
He said the corporation had promoted “the UK” and its “creative industries and claimed they regularly “generated strong exports on the back of it”.
BBC Breakfast airs from 6am on BBC One.
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