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BBC Charter White Paper - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:38 pm on 11th May 2016.

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Photo of Lord Grade of Yarmouth Lord Grade of Yarmouth Conservative 3:38 pm, 11th May 2016

My Lords, I wonder whether my noble friend the Minister shares my confusion here. There are many people—I would think, everybody in this House—who support the editorial independence of the BBC yet at the same time they wish to see votes in Parliament on its future. Those two things are entirely incompatible and I wonder whether my noble friend would care to agree with me on that. One of the underpinnings of the independence of the BBC is the fact that there is never a vote on the BBC in either House and that is what has contributed the most to its independence. Let us imagine if the BBC had been the recipient of those data which the Daily Telegraph published on MPs’ expenses and the BBC had been in possession of that the day before a vote in the House of Commons.