BBC Asian Network deny conflict of interest claims


A newspaper report has suggested that the BBC Asian Network Head of Music had a conflict of interest.

The Eastern Eye newspaper has made the sensational claims saying that Mark Strippel was a director of Panjabi Hit Squad while being Head of Music at the station.

BBC Asian Network have refused all the allegations adding Strippel resigned as a company director of Panjabi Hit Squad in August 2004.

However, Eastern Eye has obtained evidence to the contrary including details from Companies House, which suggests that Strippel was in a business relationship with the record company during his role at the BBC Asian Network.

According to the newspaper, Strippel’s signature appears in financial statements for 2005 and 2006 relating to Panjabi Hit Squad from Companies House.

The report also says the BBC Asian Network claims that “accountants operating for Panjabi Hit Squad filed a financial statement incorrectly stating Mark (Strippel) as a director until 2006”.

Eastern Eye claims the discrepancy has led to a call from the music industry for the station to compile a register of interests. The newspaper adds a register of interests “would enable the public to see exactly what business relationships senior executives at the station have with artists or record companies, especially for the weekly playlists. It would be similar to how MPs declare an interest, if they receive favours or gifts, or have financial interests, in the subject of a debate.”

However, the BBC Asian Network added that it had confidence in its existing procedure for identifying conflicts of interests, effectively dismissing the idea of a public register of interests.

To see the front page coverage of this story, see our newspaper section here.

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