Charlie Stayt sparks uproar as BBC fans blast biased interview

Strike action: Charlie grills Pat Cullen on nurse strikes

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Charlie Stayt spoke with Pat via video link as they debated the latest strike which will see NHS intensive care nurses protesting for 48 hours. However, things took a heated turn in the BBC Breakfast interview, when the presenter asked Cullen if she would sit and have a meeting with the health secretary, Steve Barclay.

Cullen explained: “It is devastating for those nurses actually, and I hear it in their voices every single day when I’m speaking with them.”

“Can I ask you one more question?” Stayt interjected. “Which is and I know that the situation we’re talking very specifically [is] about England.

“There are different scenarios being played out in Scotland where strike action has been called off, for example.

“But if today, Steve Barclay would say, ‘I will sit down with you, Pat Cullen and talk about the outstanding issues’ with no commitment from him upfront about whether he was talking about pay or other things.

“Just to say, ‘We will have a meeting’, would your strike action be called off?”

“We need to talk about pay,” she replied as Stayt quickly shut her down: “If I may, I am going to ask you to answer that question.

“Because it seems for a lot of people who may well have sympathies with your situation nurses are in.

“If he were to say now that, ‘I will sit down and talk, I’m not going to commit in advance to talking about pay specifically or anything’.

“If he will say we can have a meeting today, would you call off the strike action?”

Ignoring the presenter’s question, Cullen fired back: “And what would that meeting be about?

“It needs to address the dispute that our nurses are standing on picket lines for, we need to address nurse’s pay.

“We need to pay them a decent wage so that we can attract nurses into the profession and hold on to the nurse we have got.”

However, some viewers were left angered by Stayt’s line of questioning and interview technique, with many branding it “biased”.

“@BBCNews @BBCBreakfast Deeply disappointed in the government approach to the Nursing strikes. They’ve been understaffed for years; they’ve been taken Nurses for granted for years! Equally disappointed with Charlie’s biased bullying interview style. #BBCBreakfast,” Twitter user @RoomEllie raged.

Jay Mac quizzed: “Why are @BBCBreakfast asking striking workers why they are striking? Why aren’t they asking @10DowningStreet about the money wasted on #PandemicContracts? £120m #Mone .. £25m #GregHands .. £37bn #DidoHarding £4bn #CovidFraud .. any of this would give strikers a decent wage.” (sic)

While Andrew Swanston fumed: “@BBCBreakfast when you ask someone a question just ask them if it’s yes or no simple. Don’t let them beat around the bush.”

“Against my better judgement watch few minutes of Charlie Stayt grilling Pat Cullen. If only they would use same robust questioning to their Tory paymasters, but sadly they don’t. Just more pathetic biased reporting. #BBCBreakfast,” user @blake_viv complained. (sic)

Pete Twyman went on to comment: “I’d imagine it’s quite easy to dismiss the idea of nurses wanting to talk about pay when you earn £195,000 a year. As Charlie Stayt does.”

Roger added: “@BBCBreakfast I can’t believe Charlie has asked such a stupid question about having a meeting with Steve Barclay. The strike is about pay and the Govt must engage with the union on pay to prevent further strikes. Please can we have some proper journalism BBC?”

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.

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