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Government accused of using charter renewal to diminish BBC

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Posted by Press Gazette 3 March

BBC charter renewal is being used by the Government to diminish the broadcaster and boost its competitors, Labour has claimed. “Eviscerating" the BBC is the only thing the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Culture Secretary agree on, shadow culture secretary Maria Eagle claimed in a swipe over divisions about the EU. She accused Culture Secretary John Whittingdale of ignoring public satisfaction with the broadcaster and using the BBC charter renewal as a way of cutting its output.

The BBC's future is up for discussion after the Government published a green paper last July. A new charter agreeing the BBC's remit and funding for the next ten years has to be concluded this year.

Eagle told the House of Commons: “Bashing the BBC is the one thing the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister and the Chancellor agree about these days. “They all want to use charter renewal to eviscerate the BBC, to do its competitors a favour rather than do what the licence fee-paying public want to see. “They just don't seem to accept the British people like the BBC and want it to continue what it's doing."When will you accept that charter renewal should be about making the BBC fit for the future rather than trying to diminish it for the commercial convenience of its competitors?"

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DATELINE: 6 March, 2016


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