JOURNALIST Carrie Gracie has resigned as the BBC’s China editor, saying the corporation is facing “a crisis of trust” and accusing it of “breaking equality law”.

The BBC News Channel told viewers of Gracie’s resignation, which she claimed was prompted by unequal pay within the corporation.

Gracie, who had been with the BBC for 30 years, left her role after stating her concerns in a letter addressed to “Dear BBC Audience”.

She accused the corporation of a “secretive and illegal pay culture” after it was revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 were male.

The letter says: “My name is Carrie Gracie and I have been a BBC journalist for three decades. With great regret, I have left my post as China editor to speak out publicly on a crisis of trust at the BBC.

“The BBC belongs to you, the licence fee payer. I believe you have a right to know that it is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure.

“In 30 years at the BBC, I have never sought to make myself the story and never publicly criticised the organisation I love. I am not asking for more money. I believe I am very well paid already ... I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally.”

Gracie said she was dismayed to discover the BBC’s two male international editors earned much more than their two female counterparts. “Last July I learned that in the previous financial year, the two men earned at least 50 per cent more than the two women,” she wrote.”

“I told my bosses the only acceptable resolution would be for all the international editors to be paid the same amount. The right amount would be for them to decide, and I made clear I wasn’t seeking a pay rise, just equal pay. Instead the BBC offered me a big pay rise which remained far short of equality.”

A BBC spokesman said: “Fairness in pay is vital. A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures, showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average.

“Alongside that, we have already conducted an independent judge-led audit of pay for rank-and-file staff which showed ‘no systemic discrimination against women’.”

“A report for on-air staff will be published in the not too distant future.”