Cut to BBC licence fee 'threat'

The BBC could face a cut in the licence fee or even have to compete with other broadcasters for a share of the money unless it rebuilds public trust and becomes more transparent, a senior Conservative minister has suggested.

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BBC should be 'free of political pressure'

The BBC responded to Grant Shapps' comments about cutting the licence fee to say the broadcaster should be "free from political pressure.”

Mr Shapps is right that transparency is key to the future of the BBC. So is its freedom from political pressure.

The BBC and the BBC Trust actively encourages the public to tell us what it thinks of our services and help us police our own guidelines. On TV and radio they personally hold its executives to account.

– BBC spokesman

The spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph the BBC had dealt with 1,600 freedom of information requests last year, had appeared in front of 16 Parliamentary committees this year, and allowed the National Audit Office “full access” to everything except “editorial decisions”.

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Shapps: £145.50 fee is 'too much' if BBC fails to reform

With the BBC's royal charter coming up for renewal in 2016, Mr Shapps suggested that there were "lots of different ways" in which licence fee-payers' money could be used to fund public service broadcasting.

And he said that the £145.50 annual fee would be "too much" if the BBC failed to reform.

Mr Shapps is not a full Cabinet member but attends the weekly meetings in 10 Downing Street in his role of minister without portfolio, and is regarded as a rising star in David Cameron's team.

BBC may face cut in licence fee unless it rebuilds trust

The BBC could face a cut in the licence fee or even have to compete with other broadcasters for a share of the money unless it rebuilds public trust and becomes more transparent, a senior Conservative minister has suggested.

Tory chairman Grant Shapps. Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

Tory chairman Grant Shapps told the Sunday Telegraph that the BBC must tackle a culture of secrecy and waste in the wake of the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall scandals and rows over stars' salaries and pay-offs to senior executives.

And he said there was a "question of credibility" for the BBC over whether it applied "fairness" to its reporting of politics.

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