Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State 12:33 pm, 21st July 2020

I sympathise with the hon. Lady, particularly, of course, because commercial media have been under tremendous pressure as a result of the covid crisis and the consequent almost collapse of advertising, which has made the BBC’s contribution all the more important. I welcome the fact that the BBC is maintaining its local radio network and is not going through with some of the reductions in local coverage that were feared, but it needs to do more. I am extremely pleased that it is continuing to support the local democracy reporting service, which ensures that there are still reporters in local council chambers.