Australian Broadcasting Corporation chairman Justin Milne quits amid political meddling allegations

Justin Milne resigns from ABC chairman role

ABC chairman Justin Milne quits following attempts to seek sacking reporters

Justin Milne has resigned as chairman of the ABC board after an onslaught of media reports suggesting that he tried to have two ABC journalists fired out of fear of angering the government.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he expressed his severe disapproval over the ABC's recent editorial standards but denied calling for the metaphorical heads of several of its highest-profile journalists, amid one of the most significant leadership crises to ever face the public broadcaster.

Put simply, the conservative side of politics believes that the ABC has become a haven for left wing journalists out to push their own opinions.

On Twitter, Bill Shorten said that while he did not always agree with the ABC's reporting, he understood the importance of its independence for Australia's democracy.

The former Telstra executive admitted his concerns were partly driven by his desire for the ABC to secure $500 million in funding for Project Jetstream, a major digital transformation project which was being discussed with the government. He denied there had been any interference by the government in the ABC. Australians love their ABC.

"The ABC is not the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party of Australia".

Mr Milne issued a statement prior to the ABC staff meeting without directly responding to the Fairfax claims.

Mr Milne says the relationship between the ABC and the government is hard because the ABC is government funded but expected to stay impartial.

Alberici has called the reports "disappointing".

This follows a report that he sought to have chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici sacked after a backlash from the coalition government. "We are tarred with her brush. I think more what I'm likely to be is a conduit", he said. Get rid of her. "There is no g'tee they will lose the next election [sic]".

News Corp., citing ABC board documents, reported Mr. Milne told Ms. Guthrie in a June 15 telephone conversation that Mr. Turnbull "hates" Mr. Probyn and- "You have to shoot him".

David Anderson, a 30-year ABC veteran, is appointed acting managing director while a formal search for a replacement begins.

The ABC board met yesterday morning without Mr Milne and asked him to step aside, but he resigned instead.

NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski said the question of whether Mr Milne should remain in his position with the organisation "hadn't crossed" his mind.

News Corporation, unsurprisingly, is also strongly critical of the ABC and its role in public life, a view which comes not only from the perception that the ABC is the political enemy, but also because the ABC is a strong media competitor.

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