Sir Roger Carr, chairman of Europe’s biggest arms dealer, BAE Systems, is due to start work as vice-chairman of the BBC Trust on 1 May. But a campaign has been launched to get him sacked because of fears that he could influence BBC coverage of the arms trade.
A petition demanding his dismissal has been signed by more than 5,500 people, and is due to be handed in to BBC Broadcasting House in London on 30 April. “Arms industry executives have no place in public service broadcasting,” it says.
BAE Systems has sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have all been criticised for poor records on human rights. Saudi Arabia has reportedly used the company’s Eurofighters in recent attacks on Yemen.
“BAE Systems has made its money through arming dictatorships and human rights abusers around the world,” said Andrew Smith from Campaign Against Arms Trade, which is organising the petition.