BBC News has taken on 72 external recruits since announcing plans to cut 415 roles

BBC News has taken on 72 external recruits since it announced 415 job losses last summer.

Staff were told in an email on Friday that 29 people have been brought into the division since director-general Tony Hall put in place an external recruitment freeze on 11 September.

The BBC said that no "permanent or continuing hires" have been made in this period, but added that from "time to time, staff have been employed on short-term contracts of less than three months".

Some 43 recruits were taken on by the corporation’s news section between 17 July, when director of news and current affairs James Harding announced the 415 Delivering Quality First job cuts, and 11 September, when the freeze was announced.

Meanwhile, BBC News staff have been told there will be no compulsory redundancies before 31 October.

In September, when the external  recruitment freeze was announced, the corporation imposed a moratorium on compulsory redundancies until 31 March. This has now been extended by seven months.

Broadcast magazine reported in April that 217 BBC News staff had agreed redundancy deals with the corporation as part of DQF.

Some insiders believe that former BBC News staff have taken voluntary redundancy and then returned to work as freelances.

As part of DQF, BBC News cut 140 jobs in 2012/13 and a further 75 in 2013/14.

According to the BBC FoI disclosure documents, on 31 March 2015 there were 7,524 people working in BBC News, down from 7,578 a year earlier.

The BBC has previously said that it employs around 5,000 journalists in its News division.

The corporation faced criticism in June last year when it announced the appointments of Lucy Manning and Ed Campbell from ITN shortly before the 415 job cuts were announced.

A BBC spokesman said: “No permanent or continuing hires have been made since a recruitment freeze took effect in BBC News last year.

"From time to time, staff have been employed on short-term contracts of less than three months to accommodate busy periods of work.

"This is common practice in businesses which have to make significant internal changes and the BBC is committed to keeping the overall number of redundancies to a minimum.”   

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