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BBC — [Phil Wilson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 7:03 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport 7:03 pm, 15th July 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Dame Cheryl, and I congratulate Helen Jones on securing this important debate on these three petitions. I agree with the shadow Minister, Kevin Brennan, that the hon. Lady’s opening speech was an excellent account of so many of the issues that drove those petitions, and her own response to them.

Before I address some of the issues that have been raised, I will echo the huge positivity from across the Chamber about the role, importance and value of the BBC. We in this country are extremely fortunate to have the BBC, for all the reasons that right hon. and hon. Members have mentioned; it delivers an enormous public service, with hugely successful productions such as “Bodyguard”, “Strictly Come Dancing” and the “Today” programme. I would add a recent one, “Gentleman Jack”, which is absolutely fantastic.