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BBC: Political Impartiality

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th February 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help ensure the BBC is politically impartial.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

Following Charter Review in 2016, the government embedded impartiality into the BBC’s Mission in the Charter. The BBC also has a duty to deliver impartial and accurate news coverage and content under its Charter obligations. It is for the BBC Board to ensure the quality of all BBC’s content, and that BBC output meets the highest standards the public expect.

It is not for the government to make judgements about perceived political bias at the BBC. This is a matter for Ofcom, as the BBC’s regulator. Ofcom is responsible for setting rules to ensure BBC coverage is impartial and accurate under the Broadcasting Code and for holding the BBC to account against its public purposes as the BBC regulator.

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