Jowell: Crisis must not 'undermine' case for BBC

Former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has stressed the crisis at the BBC should not be used as an excuse to "undermine" the case for a public broadcaster.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Ms Jowell said the public should be left to run the corporation, though short-term issues such as "the culture of moralistic smugness" must be "urgently addressed".

Former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said the public should be left to run the BBC
Former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said the public should be left to run the BBC Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

"This crisis must not be allowed to herald the slow death of the uniqueness of the BBC", Ms Jowell wrote.

"Lord Reith said that the role of the BBC was to 'inform, educate and entertain'. Only radical public ownership will continue to ensure that these values are firmly embedded at the heart of the corporation and restore the trust it needs to overcome this crisis in the longer term", she concluded.

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Peter Rippon Newsnight silence

Peter Rippon, who stepped aside from his role as Newsnight editor after the programme decided not to run a report on Jimmy Savile's alleged sexual abuse, refused to comment on whether the BBC programme could survive.