Johnson Ally Says BBC Funding Depends on Tackling ‘Groupthink’
The U.K.’s new culture secretary suggested British Broadcasting Corp. funding talks are on ice until it tackles what she called ‘groupthink’ in its ranks.
“My perspective is ‘tell me how you’re going to change, and then you get the settlement’,” said Nadine Dorries, a long-time ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson who he appointed to the cabinet post last month.
Her comments at a fringe event during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Monday suggest Johnson’s government will press on with its wide-ranging overhaul of Britain’s broadcasting sector. She said the BBC, which dominates British TV, doesn’t represent the working class, and confirmed the government will press on with a potential privatization of Channel 4.
Dorries’ remarks followed a meeting with BBC Director General Tim Davie last week.
“There were no words which began or ended in ‘generous’ or ‘settlement,’” she said. “We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people.”
Much of the BBC’s funding comes from an annual 159-pound ($216) fee levied on everyone in the U.K. who watches live television or streams content from the BBC. The Times newspaper reported previously that ministers won’t allow this fee to rise in line with inflation, effectively cutting the BBC’s budget.
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