A number of my constituents have contacted me about the BBC Charter review.
The BBC is one of our most important cultural institutions and a cornerstone of the UK’s creative industries. Its news coverage is widely admired and its website is wonderful.
We all know that national finances are stretched and the BBC does need to play its part, but I do not support those who are attacking the BBC or seeking to undermine it. I support its impartiality and believe in a BBC that provides something for everybody. I also believe the licence fee should be maintained.
As I am sure you are aware, the Government has already confirmed the BBC will take on the cost of free TV licences for over-75s. I am concerned these changes will lead to cuts in jobs, services and quality. It is disappointing these changes were agreed without transparency or consultation. I am also concerned that the advisory panel appointed by the Government for the duration of the charter review process is made up of a number of people with direct financial interests in the BBC's commercial competitors.
We must await the outcome of the consultation on Charter review but I hope the Government will recognise that the BBC delivers high-quality services and programmes for everyone in the country. I believe the BBC must be adequately funded so that it can continue to be a major source of information, education and entertainment.
MP for Leeds Central