Women we love: Clare Balding
Following pressure from the organisation Campaign Against The Arms Trade, Clare Balding has announced that she has withdrawn from a speaking engagement at a dinner hosted by the arms industry.
The Guardian reports that Balding was booked to speak at the ADS Dinner in London.
Balding has previously fronted an emergency appeal for victims of the Yemen crisis. The ADS Dinner is an arms industry annual dinner attended by many of the companies whose weapons are fuelling Yemen’s civil war.
ADS represents BAE Systems, who supply parts for the Typhoon and Tornado jets that are playing a role in the Saudi-led coalition bombing of Houthi insurgents in Yemen, and Raytheon, whose UK-made Paveway IV bombs have been linked by Human Rights Watch to attacks on civilian infrastructure. Other members include MBDA, a missile company part-owned by BAE whose Brimstone and Storm Shadow missiles are being used by Saudi forces, and Lockheed Martin, the largest arms company in the world, whose bombs were used by Saudi forces in the destruction of a school bus in which dozens of children were killed.
“We are glad that Clare Balding has withdrawn her support for the ADS dinner and encourage any other public figures that are approached to do the same…” said Sarah Waldron of Campaign Against The Arms Trade. “This dinner is a major networking opportunity for the arms companies, and the deals being discussed and furthered over dinner could have devastating consequences for years to come.”
Who is Clare Balding?
Raised in Berkshire, Balding studied English at Cambridge.
Her family has a long association with horse racing, and Balding was a leading jockey for a number of years.
Balding joined the BBC in 1994, first appearing on television in 1995. Although initially a specialist horse racing presenter, Balding has since expanded her range to report on all major sporting events, other live events, and lifestyle programs.
Balding was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to broadcasting and journalism.
Balding lives with Alice Arnold – the couple entered into a civil partnership in 2006, and subsequently married in 2015.