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ABC Board meeting to elect new chairman after Justin Milne asked to resign today

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From the ABC a short time ago:


ABC chairman Justin Milne has resigned, four days after the surprise sacking of managing director Michelle Guthrie.

The ABC Board is meeting at noon today to decide who will be the acting chairman.

In an exclusive interview, Mr Milne described the week's events as a "firestorm" and said he "wanted to provide a release valve".

"Clearly there is a lot of pressure on the organisation, and as always, my interests have been to look after the interests of the corporation," he said.

"It's clearly not a good thing for everybody to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on.

Mr Milne had been under enormous pressure to stand down.

In the days after Ms Guthrie's acrimonious departure, explosive reports claimed Mr Milne had earlier the then managing director to sack two prominent reporters because the Government "hated" them.

Fairfax media claimed Mr Milne emailed Ms Guthrie in May to insist senior journalist Emma Alberici be fired.

Another report in News Limited publications claimed Mr Milne had ordered the sacking of the ABC's political editor, Andrew Probyn.

Mr Milne today told Ms Sales he had always tried to safeguard the ABC's editorial independence.

"There was absolutely no interference in the independence of the ABC by the Government," he said.

"Nobody from the Government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC."

Earlier today, the ABC board met without Mr Milne.