Nadine Dorries – stop your attack on our BBC

Photo: Tara Hunt/PA

"It’s over for the BBC"
– 'An ally' of Nadine Dorries, quoted in the Mail on Sunday

The Culture Secretary wants to impose further deep cuts on the BBC, then abolish its funding model entirely.

Nadine Dorries has announced that she will freeze the licence fee below inflation until 2024, creating a hole of over £2billion in the BBC’s finances.[1]

Then, in 2027, she intends to abolish the licence fee altogether – a move that could limit access to our national public broadcaster and diminish the range and quality of its output. She has not suggested an alternative funding model.

The BBC’s public funding supports programmes and services with clear public benefit: 90% of us access them every week.[2] No other UK broadcaster invests as much in original content, talent development and access to art and culture.

The Government’s plans threaten to cause lasting damage to the BBC and to UK culture at home and abroad.

We urge the Culture Secretary to:

  1. End these attacks on the BBC now.
  2. Increase and sustain the BBC’s funding, at least in line with inflation.
  3. Ensure that the BBC remains publicly owned and publicly funded after 2027, with a model that maintains universal access and upholds a strong commitment to public service broadcasting.

The BBC's funding has already been slashed – by 15% in real terms during the 2010s

For only 43p per day, the BBC currently delivers

  • 9 national TV channels plus regional TV services
  • 56 radio stations – 10 pan-UK, 6 national and 40 local
  • the BBC website – including News, Sport, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Food, Bitesize, Arts
  • BBC iPlayer – thousands of live and on-demand programmes
  • BBC Sounds – a wide range of musical genres, radio stations and podcasts
  • BBC World Service – TV, radio and online
  • other apps and online services[3]

One week into lockdown, the BBC launched the biggest educational programme in its recent history to ensure children across the UK had access to learning support.[4]

The BBC plays a leading role in the UK’s globally-successful creative industries

Commissioning and producing original programmes; training and employing thousands of people; developing and platforming new talent through schemes like BBC Music Introducing, Writersroom and Young Musician. The BBC is the biggest arts broadcaster in the world[5], and the biggest single investor in the UK’s creative industries.[6]  We cannot afford to lose the benefits it brings.

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The BBC is under threat. I've signed the Public Campaign for the Arts petition to say to Nadine Dorries: stop your attack on our BBC! https://www.campaignforthearts.org/petitions/bbc-funding/

[5] Darren Henley, The Arts Dividend: Why Investment in Culture Pays, p145
[6] Lord Young, PoliticsHome