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Dyke launches attack on 'debilitating' job cuts at BBC

LONDON - Former BBC director-general Greg Dyke has attacked Mark Thompson's plans to axe 2,900 staff at the corporation, labelling the move as 'incredibly debilitating' and designed to appeal to the government.

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Dyke, who was director-general for four years before he resigned in the wake of the Hutton Report earlier this year, told 'Newsnight' last night that he would not have made the cuts.

"I would not have done some of the things they were doing," he said, adding that jobs were being cut in favour of outside bodies to "appeal to the government".

Dyke said he believed the cuts would hit the creativity of the BBC. "I think the creativity of an organisation is based on the morale and enthusiasm and the energy of the staff," he said.

The 2,900 job cuts were announced last week by current director-general Mark Thompson. He also plans to move 1,500 jobs to Manchester, including the children's department, CBBC and CBeebies, BBC Sport and Radio Five Live among others.

Plans to make 15% savings across departments, which could result in a total of 6,000 jobs being axed over the next three years, were also announced.

Dyke went on to attack the BBC board of governors for supporting the cuts. He accused them of committing a U-turn on their previous policy.

"I find the position of the board of governors a bit odd because many of those governors were the people who sat there for the last four years supporting a completely different approach."

He went on to reveal in the interview that had he stayed on as director-general, he would not have succumbed to what he described as the "new political reality", which would have tried to force him to make the same decision as Thompson.

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