BBC World Service

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 7 May 2024.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, whether he has (a) made an assessment of the adequacy of resources available to the BBC World Service in advance of the next Spending Review and (b) had recent discussions with the BBC on the potential impact of its resourcing decisions on the UK's soft power.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

The World Service is two-thirds funded by the Licence Fee, with the remainder provided by government. The FCDO is providing £283 million to the World Service over the current Spending Review (SR) period, plus an exceptional uplift of £20 million as part of the Integrated Review Refresh (2023). Government funding for the World Service after 2024-25 will be determined as part of the next SR. The BBC is operationally independent and therefore responsible for setting its own budgets.

The FCDO engages regularly with the BBC at all levels. The Foreign Secretary meets the BBC Chair annually to discuss World Service performance and progress towards targets. [https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2024-02-01/HLWS232]

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