THE BBC has quietly changed a report after being called out by one of its former top editors over coverage of Emily Maitlis’s claims of “Tory cronyism” at the broadcaster’s heart.

Maitlis, the former Newsnight anchor, gave a lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival on Wednesday which saw her warn of an “active agent of the Conservative party” on the BBC board.

The reference was to former No 10 communications director Robbie Gibb, who Maitlis said was “acting as the arbiter of BBC impartiality”.

The comments have been reported across the UK’s media.

READ MORE: Five things we learnt from Emily Maitlis's speech about the BBC

Sky News ran the headline “Emily Maitlis refers to 'Tory cronyism at heart of the BBC' in Edinburgh TV Festival lecture”, The Telegraph went with “Emily Maitlis: Robbie Gibb is ‘active agent of the Conservative Party’ on BBC board”, while the Guardian reported “Emily Maitlis says ‘active Tory party agent’ shaping BBC news output”.

However, the BBC instead headlined their report on the lecture: “Emily Maitlis says BBC rebuke over Dominic Cummings remarks made no sense”.

Initially, as can be seen in the internet archive “Wayback Machine”, the BBC report contained no mention of Gibb or the Tory party’s connections to the broadcaster.

However, the report has since been quietly changed to include two paragraphs which touch upon the subject. There is no mention on the website of an edit having been made.

The BBC story now includes the lines: “She [Maitlis] added: ‘Put this in the context of the BBC board, where another active agent of the Conservative party – former Downing Street spin doctor and former adviser to BBC rival GB News – now sits, acting as the arbiter of BBC impartiality.’

“It is thought she was referring to Sir Robbie Gibb, who previously worked as Theresa May's director of communications.”

READ MORE: Who is Robbie Gibb? The 'Tory agent' Emily Maitlis says influences BBC output

Jon Sopel, the broadcaster’s former North America editor who left to join LBC alongside Maitlis, questioned the framing of the BBC story, before the changes had been made.

He wrote on Twitter: “Umm. Have you missed top line? Am sure @maitlis had something to say about relationship between BBC and Conservative Party….”

Commenting on the report, SNP president Michael Russell told The National there was “terror” at the top of the BBC about reporting on the Gibb allegations.

He said: “The terror in the BBC at senior level regarding the Gibb revelations is clear to see by their response.

“It looks as if the BBC will report anything but the truth about Brexit and anything but the truth about how its editorial processes have been taken over by the Tories.

“It doesn’t look as if the BBC is capable of confronting the grave reality of its current problem, which will condemn it to irrelevance both in these islands and much more widely.

“It will look like – because it has become – just another media outlet dominated and perverted by money and politics rather than the original bastion of public service broadcasting it once was, albeit a long time ago.”

The BBC has been approached for comment.