BBC apologises to Geldof

The BBC has apologised to Bob Geldof and the Band Aid Trust, after broadcasting claims that millions of pounds raised by Band Aid was used to buy arms in Ethiopia.

In March, the BBC’s Assignment programme said cash raised by charities to help Ethiopia had been diverted to but arms for rebels. The programme gave the impression that Band Aid and Live Aid money had been so diverted, but offered no evidence to support the allegation. Other BBC television, radio and online reports stated that Band Aid money had paid for arms.

The BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit ruled that there was no evidence to support such statements and that "they should not have been broadcast". Geldof said he hoped the apology would repair some of the appalling damage done.

Former BBC chairman Michael Grade, a trustee of Band Aid, said the programme had "sexed up" its report by "trying to smear Live Aid through the use of music from Live Aid and using Bob Geldof's name".

 

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