Piers Morgan blasted for 'leaking' BBC salaries and claiming 'scoop'

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Piers Morgan has been slammed by senior media figures in the UK after he tweeted the salaries of the BBC’s highest earners before they were due to be released.

It was the first time the publicly-funded broadcaster has revealed how much its top presenters and actors are paid, with speculation rife in the build-up to Wednesday’s announcement.

Media outlets were issued the report in advance of its official publication, however, Good Morning Britain host Piers took to Twitter just after 10am to reveal Chris Evans as the highest-paid BBC star on more than £2 million per year.

He added that Gary Lineker is the second highest paid (£1.75-1.79 million), while Claudia Winkleman is the highest paid woman (£450,000-499,000).

Morgan, who has been the editor of the Daily Mirror and News of the World, went on to highlight all the key findings from the report in five further tweets.

When questioned about the breach, he said it was a “scoop”.

Janine Gibson, editor in Chief of Buzzfeed UK, wrote: “Well I suppose you may or may not think the BBC News staff are overpaid but at least they understand the word embargo.”

Morgan dismissed her, saying: “I understand the word ‘scoop’ better.”

Ian Prior, digital editor of the Guardian, added: “Breaking embargoes is being that repulsive brat who sneakily unwraps his presents on December 23. Scoop my arse.”

Beth Rigby, a senior political correspondent for Sky News, said Morgan was “utterly disgraceful”.

She added: “Morgan breaks an embargo that dozens of journos honour and calls it a scoop. Funny guy. And a bit of a joke.”

But the TV host fired back: “Oh settle down, petal. I just scooped you. Be better next time.”

He later added: “Why don’t you stop whining and start reporting?”

Alastair Stewart, of ITV News, tweeted: “Breaking an embargo, with stuff we’ve all been sitting on for hours, is not a ‘scoop’, it is naff, delusional & unprofessional.”

But Morgan was quick to respond by saying: “You snooze, you lose mate.”

Following the salary reveal, BBC director-general Tony Hall said it needed to go “further and faster on issues of gender and diversity”.

BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty was paid between £150,000 and £199,999 but co-presenter Dan Walker took home between £200,000 and £249,999.

Radio 4 Today show presenter Mishal Husain’s pay packet of £200,000 to £249,999 was dwarfed by that of her co-host John Humphrys, who also presents Mastermind.

He earned between £600,000 and £649,999.

Overall, about two thirds of the 96 top-earners were men, sparking the gender pay gap row.

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