The BBC has been widely criticized for cutting down their Christmas tree due to health and safety concerns.
Both licence fee payers, who covered the cost of the tree, and climate change protesters have accused the broadcaster of having zero regard for the environment, have reacted with anger.
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The Telegraph reports: A decked-out tree stood at the door of New Broadcasting House for just one week before it was cut up and carted off, with some perplexed members of staff at the corporation told it was a “security risk”.
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Rather than the tree being relocated in one piece from the main entrance of broadcaster as it prepares for busy election night coverage, its baubled boughs were chopped up for apparent health and safety reasons on Saturday.
Some within the corporation are angered and embarrassed by a perceived disregard for both the environment and license fee payers’ money, and fear ordering then destroying the short-lived decoration makes the BBC look “stupid”.
On hearing the tree presented a “security risk” one member of staff questioned whether it was genuinely feared someone “could hide a bomb in it”.
Conifers of a similar height to the roughly 16ft specimen seen at the BBC can cost around £2000 fully decorated. The broadcaster refused to reveal how much it paid for its tree.
The corporation does not comment on security issues, but advised that it expects increased activity on the open square where the tree stood this week, where more space may be needed for the general election.
The broadcaster has promised a replacement for the evergreen, but some employees are disappointed with the waste.
“This is incredibly sad,” said one member of staff. “The tree took a long time to grow and it’s destruction shows such an utter disregard for the environment at a time when we are all doing so much to protect it.
“Not only that, but it’s a huge waste of licence fee payers’ money.
“And it’s upset the staff massively. It’s just another embarrassing decision by the BBC, which makes us look stupid.”
The BBC newsroom’s Africa editor Will Ross took to twitter to share his views, saying: “The BBC’s Christmas Tree has had a traumatic day at the barbers. Security risk? Really?
“Sweeney Todd style barber – tree murdered.”
A senior journalist for the BBC, Vicky Baker, posted that the tree was a: “Security risk, apparently. No idea why they had to kill it so brutally though.”
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