The BBC is under heavy fire after it emerged that a woman who appeared on its flagship evening show 'Newsnight' in support of Theresa May's Brexit deal, is in fact an actress.
The woman, Lynn Hayter, took part in what was presented as an in-studio ‘public panel' made up of six guests with each individual apparently representing the various sides of the Brexit debate. Miss Hayter, who was dressed as a church vicar, told Newsnight's presenter, Emily Maitlis, that she was "100 percent" behind May's controversial Brexit deal and called for the British people to "put faith in the government we have elected."
"They are members of parliament for a reason, we're not. Being a conservative born and bred all my life I will back prime minister May. It's going to be hard for everybody, it's going to be a rocky boat, but we've got to just sit it out and put faith in the government that we elected," Hayter said while on Newsnight.
Hi. I am now also a fake priest. Can I be on the telly? #LynnHayter— Rev Prebendary Dai Naslow (@LondonDynaslow) 30 November 2018
However, since that show, which aired on November 26, it has emerged that Miss Hayter is no stranger to the television screens. In fact, she has allegedly appeared as an extra in multiple films and television programmes, including in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. According to reports, she typically performs on screen using her middle name, 'Marina.'
"The reason they are sitting there is that they know far more about what's going on then we do. I've been a Conservative all my life and I back Prime Minister May."— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) 26 November 2018
Lynn is sold on the government's Brexit plan#newsnight | @maitlis | @nadhimzahawi pic.twitter.com/cP2gMearTv
As a result of her appearance on one of the BBC's most watched political talk shows, theories are now in circulation in the blogosphere as to whether Hayter was paid by the British government, in her capacity as an actress, to support Miss May's deal live on television. Some have suggested that the decision for Hayter to wear a clerical collar was a deceptive move intended to sow trust in her words among the show's viewers.
“Reverend Lynn” is in fact Marina Hayter. She has played numerous roles including Peasant Woman, quizzical librarian and shocked neighbour but no vicars until her starring role as Brexit deal fan girl on #Newsnight. #BBC #BrexitAgreement pic.twitter.com/vqMT1Ams3B— Antonia Frances (@antoniafrances) 29 November 2018
— Cricketfan (@batanball) 29 November 2018
A cursory Google search reveals that Lynn Hayter is also a Christian minister for a heterodox Church that calls itself, ‘Seeds of Wealth,' which promises that it can take congregations to a "higher level that will release you into your financial freedom."
#vicargate #BBC 'has been accused of using an #actor to play #Brexiteer vicar…#LynnHayter appeared…she declared her support for #TheresaMay’s deal… the same woman was listed on #actingagency websites, under the name #MarinaHayterhttps://t.co/RRXr2NiVdQ— Rɪᴄᴋ Fᴀɴᴅᴀɴɢᴏ (@RickFandango) 29 November 2018
Newsnight itself has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a statement of denial, saying that: "Claims that Lynn appeared on Newsnight as a paid actor are false."
"Lynn is a pastor and was a genuine participant of our Brexit debate. She carries out work as an extra using her middle name but this is not relevant to the capacity in which she appeared," they added.
Her unusual appearance, massive support for Brexit, and use of two names has raised quite a few theories that in some way she's being paid by the government or other forces to sell Theresa May's deal to the public. (I'm not sure I'd choose her as my front woman, but OK!) pic.twitter.com/kpH5tAfkuR— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) November 29, 2018
#VicarGate is No.1 trending!!! That means the taxpayer funded BBC are officially the top trending fake news channel!!! So proud! #Newsnight #FakeVicar #FakeNews https://t.co/EBdekYIKOC— Irritated llama (@Irritatedllama) 29 November 2018