Digital Economy Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 8th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat 5:00 pm, 8th February 2017

What I am hoping will happen is that Lord Hall of Liverpool—the director-general—will meet Ministers himself. He has been quoted in particular ways now and I will not attribute any views to him, because that would jeopardise the independence of the BBC, but I very much hope that he will meet the Secretary of State and explain privately what he thinks about these issues. From my point of view, as a would-be midwife, all I am trying to do is create a framework of principles which do not have any of the detrimental effects that the Minister has pointed to. I will seek to do that, and I hope that it will not be necessary on Report to divide the House. I am optimistic enough to believe that a thinking, open-minded Government in discussion with the BBC could come up with some statutory underpinning that would give a framework of principles without these detrimental effects. On that basis, I shall withdraw this amendment and will not pursue others in the group.