I thank my hon. Friend very much for that intervention, and I most certainly agree; there needs to be a great deal of consultation with the public and the regional staff about the future of their programmes. They deserve that consultation, and they deserve to know what is happening and have a say.
Thankfully, I have managed to find what I was looking for. These were some of the comments on the Twitter feed about “Inside Out”:
“Local and regional BBC news and programming like Inside Out and Politics is where the rubber hits the road between BBC and local/national communities. Consistently watched with quality ratings. What a loss it would all be.”
“Inside Out has been a beacon of investigative journalism in the region, your report on the Medomsley scandal was an outstanding example.”
“Inside Out from the BBC is set to be axed. It’s the last bastion of local North East news. Not everything should be about London”.
“Inside Out has been at the cutting edge of investigative journalism for years, we need MORE programming of this calibre not less.”
“So many important stories will fall through the cracks without @InsideOutCJ &
his team & @BBCRichardMoss &
his team are key to ensuring regional political scrutiny &
issues like the #levellingup agenda are monitored.”
I agree with every word. I could probably fill the rest of the debate with the comments, but I will not, because I know that other Members want to contribute.
The BBC needs to understand and recognise how important these programmes are to our regions and to think again. All of us will know that being on “Sunday Politics” is not always easy or pleasant, but it is necessary. We need to be able to give an account for ourselves and discuss what is happening locally, and I certainly hope that the BBC will think again about this proposal and reinstate the “Inside Out” and “Sunday Politics” regional programmes.