Union officials representing a sacked BBC producer have described her as a "sacrificial Lamb" in the fake phone-in row.

Broadcast union Bectu is representing Leona McCambridge in her appeal against her sacking for alleged gross misconduct.

Ms McCambridge worked on The Liz Kershaw show on BBC 6Music, which was found to have used fake contestants in competitions on recorded shows during a BBC-wide investigation into corporation practices.

The investigation was triggered by the phone-in scandals earlier this year which marred all of the major broadcasters.

In July BBC director general Mark Thompson said a "zero tolerance" approach would be taken to instances of editorial breaches and announced a mandatory training programme for 16,500 staff.

Bectu assistant general secretary Luke Crawley said that faked competitions were a "long-established practice" before Ms McCambridge worked on the programme.

"We feel that she should not have been dismissed – while we understand the seriousness of the situation in this case the BBC has gone over the top," he added.

"I think she's a sacrificial lamb."

The timescale of the appeal will be decided by the BBC and if Ms McCambridge loses then the case could potentially be taken to an employment tribunal.

19/09/2007 17:30:24