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Thompson defends Moira Stuart axing

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BBC director general Mark Thompson has said Moira Stuart was removed from her regular newsreader role because television news is changing.

He was being questioned by the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee over allegations Stuart was asked to leave because she was too old.

Thompson explained the move was made because journalists who could perform a wider variety of roles were taking over in news.

He explained: "BBC News, News 24 and the radio networks have changed over the years and the traditional role of the news reader, as opposed to a correspondent or presenter, has virtually died out over the services."

Thompson added that talks were ongoing with Stuart about what role she would play and said it would be discussed at a BBC Trust meeting on Wednesday.

Conservative MP Nigel Evans criticised the decision: "If this is how you treat someone who's much loved, I'd hate to see how you treat someone you don't like."

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