The ABC Board held a crisis meeting this morning about the future of Milne at the company.
Milne is understood to have handed in his resignation around 12pm. This comes four days after the surprise sacking of former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie.
Milne’s resignation follows accusations that he asked Guthrie for two ABC journalists, Emma Alberici and Andrew Probyn, to be dismissed.
Justin Milne tells @leighsales: "I think I should resign because, clearly, there is a lot of pressure on the #ABC It's clearly not a good thing for everyone to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on, I wanted to provide a release valve." #auspol @SBSNews pic.twitter.com/SgYrIM6xZn
— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 27, 2018
The ABC Chairman Justin Milne has resigned. Full details coming up at Noon on @abcnews
— Gaven Morris (@gavmorris) September 27, 2018
V relieved that Chairman of the ABC Justin Milne has resigned. Many staff were shocked and disappointed by his lack of commitment to uphold the independence of the ABC.
— Sally Sara (@sallyjsara) September 27, 2018
Communications minister Mitch Fifield has asked his department to launch an official investigation into the intrusion of the government in the editorial operations of the ABC.
In light of these events, Prime Minster Scott Morrison said that the allegations against Milne were problematic: “They’re pretty serious allegations, I’ve got to say, and on the face of it they’re very concerning.” However, he said, all facts need to be considered before jumping to conclusions about Milne’s time as chairman of the ABC.
In an interview with ABC’s 7.30, Milne said: “Clearly there is a lot of pressure on the organisation and, as always, my interests have been to look after the interests of the corporation.
“It’s clearly not a good thing for everybody to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on.”
BREAKING: The ABC board has asked Justin Milne to step aside while the inquiry is going on. The view was he could not continue as Chair while he was being investigated. In light of this, Milne is now understood to be considering his position as Chair and may step down entirely.
— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) September 27, 2018
The ABC board was meeting at noon today to decide who will be the acting chairman.
The public broadcaster has been dominating headlines since Monday’s sacking of Guthrie.
Milne has spoken to ABC’s Leigh Sales about his resignation. The interview will air tonight on 7.30.