Emily Maitlis delivered the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture during the 2022 Edinburgh International Televisions Festival. An ex-BBC journalist, she used her keynote address to warn people of the danger of fake news and the repercussions of having people in higher positions further their own agendas in the guise of news stories.

During her lecture, she referred to "Tory cronyism at the heart of the BBC," claiming that the BBC board has been infiltrated by a Conservative Party agent whom she claims is an "arbiter of BBC impartiality".

The Edinburgh International Television Festival is an annual media event held in the United Kingdom each August to bring delegates from the television and digital industries to discuss major issues experienced by those working in media.

Maitlis' statements came after she had been twice accused of showing bias against Boris Johnson's government. The first instance was when she discussed ex-chief adviser Dominic Cummings' lockdown trip to Barnard Castle and the second incident came after she retweeted Piers Morgan, who questioned the government's response to the pandemic.

Maitlis brought up the speed of BBC's response to a Downing Street complaint over her comments on Cummings and said, "Put this in the context of the BBC Board, where another active agent of the Conservative party - former Downing Street spin doctor, and former adviser to BBC rival GB News - now sits, acting as the arbiter of BBC impartiality."

She added, "According to the Financial Times, he's attempted to block the appointments of journalists he considers damaging to government relations."

Maitlis concluded her lecture with, "Our job is to make sense of what we are seeing and anticipate the next move. It's the moment, in other words, the frog should be leaping out of the boiling water and phoning all its friends to warn them. But by then, we are so far along the path of passivity, we're cooked."

The full lecture can be watched on YouTube here.

BBC issued a statement to respond to Maitlis' accusations and told Sky News: "The BBC Board has collective responsibility in protecting the BBC's independence and ensuring it delivers on its mission and public purposes. It is made up of executive and non-executive members from a range of backgrounds."

Emily Maitlis
News presenter Emily Maitlis is missing from the BBC list Wiki Commons