Meanwhile the corporation today confirmed presenters Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty had been “reminded of their responsibilities” after they faced criticism for being “disrespectful” on-air about the Union Jack and the Queen. The pair were accused of mocking communities secretary Robert Jenrick about the Union Jack and a portrait of the Queen in his office, with Mr Stayt commenting: “I think your flag is not up to standard size Government-interview measurements. I think it’s just a little bit small.”
Mrs Munchetty then courted more controversy by “liking” insulting tweets about the British flag – before subsequently backtracking and apologising.
Former Southampton FC chairman Mr Lowe today tweeted: “The BBC rightly took a lot of criticism for the flag fiasco, but it shows just how thin everybody’s patience is wearing.
“If they’re going to force us all to pay £157.50, the least the presenters can do is not shove their own politics in our faces. I’m sick of it!”
Mr Lowe, a supporter of the Defund the BBC pressure group, won plenty of support from fellow social media users.
Sam Overend said: “I don’t think they believed they were doing anything political at the time.
“In their minds it was normal behaviour from them, until it all kicked off.
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“This cultural disconnect between these disparate elements of society is what truly worries me.”
Another poster, referring to Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, the BBC’s highest earner, added: “Lineker thinks he’s untouchable, even mocking the BBC guidelines on air. Same with Huw Edwards.”
Both presenters were absent from BBC Breakfast on Saturday, which instead featured Jon Kay and Rachel Burden.
The BBC said it had received complaints from people who were “unhappy” about Stayt’s comments and Munchetty’s subsequent behaviour on social media following the incident on BBC Breakfast last week.
A statement from the BBC on the complaints section of its website said: “At the end of a long, serious interview with the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, Charlie Stayt made an off the cuff remark about the size of the flag behind Mr Jenrick.
“It was meant as a light-hearted, off the cuff comment and no offence or disrespect was intended.
“Naga and Charlie have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities, including the BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines.”
Mr Jenrick, who was speaking via video call from Westminster, did not respond to Mr Stayt’s remarks at the end of their interview.
When the camera returned to the studio, Mrs Munchetty was seen attempting to stifle her laughter.
She added: “There’s always a flag. They had the picture of the Queen though. In the Westminster office I am assuming.”
New director-general Tim Davie warned BBC staff over their use of social media in September last year.
The corporation later published new impartiality guidelines which warned employees not to bring the corporation “into disrepute” with their behaviour online.
These included guidance on avoiding bias through follows, likes or re-posting and shares, as well as tougher guidelines for some staff in news, current affairs, factual journalism, senior leadership, and a small number of presenters who have a significant public profile.