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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter 12:45 pm, 11th June 2019

While the then BBC management was extremely foolish to accept this albatross around their neck—we warned them at the time—I am absolutely aghast that the then Culture Secretary and his junior Minister sitting behind him, the right hon. Members for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale) and for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), seem to be washing their hands of the responsibility. They were the people in charge and they just caved in to the Treasury—extraordinary! The Secretary of State, defending the BBC, should stand up to the Treasury. Is it not the truth that this is nothing to do with the BBC? This is about a Government who have deliberately passed responsibility for what should be a social security issue on to our main public service broadcaster.