Parliamentarians decry BBC cuts

  • 22 Jul 2020

More than 60 parliamentarians write to Ofcom as MPs discuss the corporation.

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More than 60 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum have contacted Dame Melanie Dawes, the chief executive of Ofcom, to express their joint concern about the latest cuts to national and regional BBC news and political programmes.

Ofcom is obliged by the BBC's Royal Charter and the Communications Act 2003 to include conditions in its broadcast licences that comply with obligations on production and regional programming.

The politicians signed up to the letter asked Ofcom to exercise its regulatory duty and assess whether the cuts will endanger the BBC's ability to fulfil its statutory duties.

They also asked Ofcom to intervene, if necessary, to ensure that regional coverage of news and political affairs is not eroded, and ensure the corporation continues to serve the public interest.

In parliament on Tuesday 21 July, MPs debated the changes to the licence fee, BBC programming and job cuts in response to an urgent question tabled by Daisy Cooper.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"The NUJ extends thanks to those parliamentarians who are prepared to stand with us to protect and defend the BBC.
"The government's penchant for under-funding and undermining Britain's largest public broadcaster has not stopped, not even during the Covid crisis when the BBC has proved just how important it remains for the nation and the world.
"Instead of praising the journalists and staff who have been out reporting and working during the lockdown, the plan is to cut them.
"The NUJ remains committed to stand up to this relentless government vandalism, the BBC is not perfect but it is a key institution at the very heart of our society, it must be defended."

The signatories

The full list of parliamentarians who have signed the letter to Ofcom:

Tahir Ali Labour
Harriet Baldwin Conservative
Paula Barker Labour
Clive Betts Labour
Deidre Brock SNP
Alan Brown SNP
Richard Burgon Labour
Ian Byrne Labour
Wendy Chamberlain Lib Dem
Daisy Cooper Lib Dem
Jeremy Corbyn Labour
Jon Cruddas Labour
Alex Cunningham Labour
Lord Alf Dubs Labour
Michael Fabricant Conservative
Marian Fellowes SNP
Lord Don Foster Lib Dem
Lord George Foulkes Labour
Yvonne Fovargue Labour
Mary Foy Labour
Sir Roger Gale Conservative
Barry Gardiner Labour
Neil Gray SNP
Lillian Greenwood Labour
Jonathan Gullis Conservative
Andrew Gwynne Labour
Robert Halfon Conservative
Claire Hanna SDLP
Gordon Henderson Conservative
Mike Hill Labour
Meg Hillier Labour
Sir George Howarth Labour
Christine Jardine Lib Dem
Kim Johnson Labour
Diana Johnson Labour
Darren Jones Labour
Barbara Keeley Labour
Ian Lavery Labour
Chris Law SNP
Clive Lewis Labour
Tony Lloyd Labour
Chris Loder Conservative
Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour
Caroline Lucas Green
Steve McCabe Labour
Stuart McDonald SNP
John McDonnell Labour
Anne McLoughlin SNP
Rt Hon Lord McNally Lib Dem
Grahame Morris Labour
Gavin Newlands SNP
John Nicolson SNP
Kate Osborne Labour
Neil Parrish Conservative
Liz Saville Roberts Plaid Cymru
Henry Smith Conservative
John Spellar Labour
Chris Stephens SNP
Grahame Stringer Labour
Zarah Sultana Labour
Richard Thomson SNP
Christian Wakeford Conservative
Claudia Webbe Labour
Mick Whitley Labour
William Wragg Conservative
Mohammed Yasin Labour

The NUJ's 60+ council is calling on all union members to supports the BBC campaign and tell the government to 'pick up the bill' for free TV licences for over-75s.

Please contact your local political representatives about it:

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