Justin Milne resigns as ABC chairman
UPDATE 28/09/2018: After meeting on Thursday the ABC Board said it was “grateful for [Mr Milne’s] willingness to put the ABC first in coming to his decision to resign.”
ORIGINAL STORY: ABC chairman Justin Milne has resigned, less than 24 hours after ABC staff unanimously passed a motion calling on him to stand down.
Milne spoke with ABC 7:30 host Leigh Sales, saying that he “wanted to provide a release valve” after the events of the week, which included the ABC board sacking managing director Michelle Guthrie on Monday.
“Clearly there is a lot of pressure on the organisation, and as always, my interests have been to look after the interests of the corporation,” said Milne.
“It’s clearly not a good thing for everybody to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on.”
The calls for Milne to step aside following revelations of a leaked email in which he instructed Guthrie to sack ABC presenter Emma Alberici, at the behest of then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“There was absolutely no interference in the independence of the ABC by the Government,” he said.
“Nobody from the Government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC.
“I have never sent an email to Michele Guthrie or anybody else, which says you must sack Emma Alberici or Andrew Probyn or anybody else.”
The board is meeting today to decide on the next acting chairman, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison will choose the next chairman in due course, to be formally appointed by the Governor-General.