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The chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has resigned following allegations of political interference.

Justin
Milne resigned from the national broadcaster amid reports he had asked
for journalists to be fired because their reporting was disliked by the
Australian government.

The government has denied pressuring the broadcaster over its staff.

ABC’s managing director Michelle Guthrie was fired on Monday.

Milne said there had been no interference from the government, and he
was stepping aside to “provide a release valve” from the public
pressure.

“Nobody from the government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC,” he said.

‘Get rid of her’

The
government has announced an inquiry into the allegations of improper
intervention by Milne, who is a former business partner of
Australia’s ex-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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He is alleged to have lobbied for the sacking of two senior journalists whose reports were critical of the government.

In
one leaked email about a reporter, economics journalist Emma Alberici,
he wrote: “They hate her… get rid of her. We need to save the ABC, not
Emma.”

Australian news outlets reported he had also directed Ms
Guthrie to sack the ABC’s political editor, saying: “You have to shoot
him.”

The revelations sparked protests from the broadcaster’s
staff on Wednesday who called for Milne’s removal and for the
organisation’s editorial independence to be protected.

“Time for the ABC to resume normal transmission, both independently and without bias,” he said on Twitter.

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