BBC Symphony Orchestra held meeting over fears it was 'racist'

Revealed: BBC Symphony Orchestra held a panicked meeting over fears it was ‘institutionally racist’ just weeks before the Last Night of the Proms row

  • An emergency action plan was brought in to tackle so-called ‘unconscious bias’ 
  • It forged links with first professional orchestra made of mainly black musicians
  • One insider described the move as a ‘tedious exercise in virtue signalling’ 

The BBC Symphony Orchestra held a panicked meeting over fears it was ‘institutionally racist’ just weeks before the Last Night Of The Proms row, it emerged last night.

The allegation – employing the same phrase used to describe Scotland Yard following its failures in the Stephen Lawrence murder case – left some members ‘astonished and disturbed’.

After the Zoom summit, an emergency action plan was brought in to tackle so-called ‘unconscious bias’ within the world-renowned orchestra, which plays at the Last Night Of The Proms every year.

 An emergency action plan was brought in to tackle so-called ‘unconscious bias’ within the world-renowned orchestra, which plays at the Last Night Of The Proms, pictured, every year

Classical music website Slipped Disc reported that at the meeting, which took place after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the orchestra decided to forge close links with Chineke! – the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up mainly of black and minority ethnic musicians.

They also vowed to bring in guest speakers to ‘elucidate the problems of under-representation and… unconscious bias’. 

One insider described the move as a ‘tedious exercise in virtue signalling’.

A BBC source last night told The Mail on Sunday that there was a ‘culture war’ at the national broadcaster that had come to the fore with the row over Rule, Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory

The source said: ‘The new director general, Tim Davie, will have his work cut out to deal with the opposing factions. 

The BBC Symphony Orchestra, pictured, held a panicked meeting over fears it was ‘institutionally racist’ just weeks before the Last Night Of The Proms row

‘There is a feeling in some quarters that the rush to back the Black Lives Matter movement has led to some questionable decisions. 

‘There is a concern that the majority of licence payers, while opposing racism, are nonetheless dumbfounded by some of the decisions being taken’.

A BBC spokesman said the patriotic songs will be sung next year assuming audiences will be allowed back in the Royal Albert Hall, adding: ‘Given we’re in a global pandemic, we’re very lucky that we can stage the Proms at all.’

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