Ita Buttrose rejects ABC staff’s vote of no confidence in management over Antoinette Lattouf’s sacking

ABC chair Ita Buttrose has doubled down on her support for David Anderson after the broadcaster’s union passed a vote of no confidence in the managing director.

More than 100 of the ABC’s union staff rebuked Mr Anderson on Monday over his handling of the sacking of presenter Antoinette Lattouf, who was let go just days into a fill-in radio gig over a retweet.

The ABC has faced fierce backlash over its decision to sack Ms Lattouf after she shared a social media post about the war in Gaza on her own page, with accusations that a letter-writing campaign from a group of pro-Israel lawyers may have influenced the decision.

The broadcaster has denied that lobbying efforts had influenced Ms Lattouf’s sacking, arguing she was let go after disobeying orders from management not to post about controversial issues while in the presenter position.

The ABC Board held a crisis meeting on Tuesday over the issue, where it passed a unanimous vote of confidence in Mr Anderson.

“It is abhorrent and incorrect that people would suggest that he has shown a lack of support for independent journalism and journalists,” Ms Buttrose said in a statement.

“David Anderson has always been a strong supporter of the independence of the ABC and its journalists.

“He has encouraged them to report without fear or favour and has never weakly surrendered to criticism as some critics have alleged.”

Ms Buttrose said any “assumption” that she or Mr Anderson would be influenced by lobbying pressure “is quite simply wrong”.

“The Board, including the Managing Director, recognise that this is a very difficult environment for our staff with many societal issues that threaten to divide us,” she said.

“We will continue to prioritise actions that support our staff, ensure our journalistic independence and protect the trust that Australians place in the ABC.”

Ms Lattouf has launched legal proceedings against the ABC over the sacking, claiming she was discriminated against because of her Lebanese heritage and her political expression, allegations the broadcaster has denied.

Thousands gathered in Melbourne in support of Ms Lattouf at a pro-Palestinian protest in Melbourne this weekend.

Ms Lattouf has said that she feels like she was “thrown under the bus” by the public broadcaster.

“I was floored, not only [by] how I was fired but how quickly things escalated because one minute I was taking talkback callers … the next, I’m thrown under the bus in a very public way,” she said in a BBC interview.

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