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The BBC must tackle its culture of secrecy or face a cut in its licence fee, a senior Conservative has warned.
Tory Party Chairman Grant Shapps said executive pay-offs and the handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal had damaged public trust in the Corporation. The BBC said transparency and its independence are key to its future.
The BBC responded to Grant Shapps' comments about cutting the licence fee to say the broadcaster should be "free from political pressure.”
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”.
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.
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 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.