Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Government accused of attacking BBC to stop PM becoming ‘dead meat’

The government has been accused of launching an attack on the BBC to distract from the partygate scandal and stop Boris Johnson becoming “dead meat”.

Culture minister Nadine Dorries announced on Monday that the government would freeze the BBC’s funding for the next two years, and confirmed that the future of the licence fee beyond 2027 was now in doubt.

Labour’s shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said the plan – reportedly part of ‘Operation Red Meat’ moves to please Conservative supporters – was designed “to stop the prime minister becoming dead meat.”

The Labour frontbencher accused Ms Dorries of a “vendetta” against the BBC and said the attack was “a really obvious, pathetic distraction from a prime minister and a government who has run out of road”.

Ms Dorries told the Commons that the BBC had asked for the fee to rise to over £180 by the end of the current settlement – but said it will instead be frozen at £159 until April 2024, before rising with inflation for the following four years.

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