New culture secretary John Whittingdale quizzed on BBC future
4 June 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
John Whittingdale replaced Sajid Javid as UK culture secretary
John Whittingdale has faced questions in the House of Commons about the future of the BBC for the first time since becoming culture secretary.
He was asked to give “a little clue as to [his] inclinations” about the BBC’s forthcoming charter renewal by shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant.
The minister responded quoting Mr Bryant’s 2005 description of elements of the licence fee as “regressive”.
“You will have to await our conclusions,” Mr Whittingdale added.
“But I would say I very much agree when you observe ‘elements of the licence fee are regressive because everyone has to pay it, so it falls as a greater percentage of the income on the poorest people’.”
The quote was taken from a 2005 debate in which Mr Bryant went on to say the licence fee was “a good principle because it enables everyone in the country, whether rich or poor, to watch the best programming.”
The culture secretary was asked by Chris Bryant is “Auntie” was “safe in [his] hands”
Mr Whittingdale has been a critic of the licence fee in the past, saying last year it was “worse than a poll tax” and “unsustainable” in the long term.
Some commentators have suggested his appointment could pose a threat to the corporation, prompting Mr Bryant …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment