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Quit whining or just quit, BBC boss tells Northern Ireland staff

Sparks flew at a BBC meeting in Belfast as the director general told staff to quit if they are unhappy.

Mark Thompson flew into Northern Ireland yesterday a week after the Beeb’s blueprint for change was unveiled.

And afterwards a spokeswoman for the corporation admitted there had been a “robust exchange” of views.

During the meeting of BBC staff in Belfast, he said: “If you’re really that unhappy, if you think that you can’t do your best work here then leave — no-one is forcing you to stay.”

Mr Thompson’s dismissive comments have also been met with cries of outrage from members of the National Union of Journalists.

Up to 70 jobs are under threat in Broadcasting House, in a bid to save £7m over five years, with weekend programmes and shows aired after midnight under particular threat. Mr Thomas outlined that the savings here have been kept to a lower level (15%) than the 20% national average — but will still prove “challenging”.

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