Prime Minister shows contempt for journalism, says NUJ leader
9 December 2019
At an event today in Sunderland the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has questioned the long term viability of the BBC's licence fee.
Johnson said he did not want to make an unfunded spending commitment and was considering a different approach.
In response, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"It's clear the current prime minister has little regard for the future of the BBC, a public service broadcaster renowned and respected around the world. The Tories have already ditched their obligation to provide free TV licences for the over-75s. Any talk of scrapping the licence fee without a credible alternative of funding quality public service broadcasting that informs, educates and entertains shows contempt for journalism and for the wider creative industries.
"If speculation is correct that this is in fact an 'oven-ready' plan cooked up with his unelected advisor, it is outrageous it wasn’t honestly articulated in the Conservative manifesto. Perhaps no surprise from a premier who has contributed to the plummeting levels of public discourse, who has evaded and dodged proper journalistic scrutiny throughout this election campaign, and who seemingly let slip this nugget of information when being quizzed over his blatant disregard for a 4 year old boy having to curl up and sleep on a hospital floor while awaiting treatment."