GOOD MORNING BRITAIN presenter Piers Morgan denied knowing how much his co-star Susanna Reid was paid when their guest Emily Maitlis asked them about it.
Good Morning Britain had invited Emily Maitlis into the studio today to discuss her new book. But the conversation turned when the BBC broadcaster and journalist became the interviewer and asked the presenter about their salaries and whether there was a difference in what Piers Morgan earned compared to Susanna Reid.
Changing the subject, those watching at home saw Emily take control and ask: “You can tell us the disparity between you two, if you want?”
Piers was quick to replied and said: “We don’t know actually, I don’t know.”
“Why not? Aren’t you into transparency?” The guest remarked.
“No, we’re not the BBC! You don’t pay our salary?” Piers hit back.
Emily then explained: “So presumably, it is a nationwide, international problem that we’re all trying to understand and get to grips with and [whether]we need more transparency or not, is clearly the big issue.
“I don’t think it’s a Jeremy Vine problem, I think, from what I understand, Samira [Ahmed] has gone to a tribunal, anyone who goes to a tribunal does not do so willingly.
“They don’t it because it’s their first recourse, they do it because tried everything else and it hasn’t worked.
“And somebody who’s been in a similar position, my heart goes out to her. I think it’s a really important thing she is doing and fighting for other people who have got unjust and unequal -“ She continued but was cut off by Piers interrupting.
“She got £700,000 in backpay because she wants to be paid the same as Jeremy Vine who is a much bigger name!
“To me, I don’t get the argument,” he exclaimed.
Susanna piped up and explained simply: “The argument is equal pay for work of equal value.”
“But it’s not equal value is it!” Piers hit back.
“Well that’s for the industrial tribunal to decide,” Susanna added.
“I’m not going to talk about a court case, but I do think one of the things is the difference between news and entertainment,” Emily commented.
“Now you’re an entertainer Piers, we [Susanna and herself] do news,” suggesting a potential reason for a difference in pay between two people.
It comes as Samira Ahmed is the first BBC presenter to bring the corporation to tribunal since the equal pay row in the summer of 2017.
The Newswatch host is claiming she was paid a “sixth” of what Jeremy Vine earned hosting Points of View as she faces the corporation at an employment tribunal this week.
According to court documents, Samira received £465 per episode of Newswatch, an audience-led critique of BBC News coverage, while Jeremy was paid £3,000 per episode of Points of View.
His salary for the 15-minute programme, which follows a similar format, was cut to £1,300 last year before he left the show. Samira who is seeking a total back pay claim for £693,245, described their work as comparable.
However, the BBC, which stressed it is “committed to equal pay”, does not share her views. “Points of View is an entertainment programme with a long history and is a household name with the public. Newswatch – while an important programme – isn’t,” a spokesman said.