Government Ministers have opened up a fresh front with the BBC over accusations of its anti-Tory bias by launching a major review focused on its compliance with ‘impartiality requirements’. The Mail on Sunday has more.
A mid-term review being announced later this week is expected to reignite tensions between the Government and the Corporation over claims that its output is too skewed towards a Left-wing, so-called ‘Islingtonian’ world view.
It comes against the backdrop of threats by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries to scrap the £159-a-year licence fee when the current Royal charter comes to an end in 2027.
The review, held at the mid-point of the ten-year charter, is also expected to examine whether the BBC abuses its dominant market position to the detriment of commercial rivals.
Government sources said the review would “assess how effectively the governance and regulation arrangements of the BBC are performing at the halfway point of the BBC charter”.
The review is also expected to examine whether the communications regulator Ofcom is “holding the BBC to account” by assessing “the effectiveness of the BBC’s governance mechanisms… in ensuring compliance with its editorial standards including impartiality requirements”.
A White Paper published last month declared that the Government intended to put in place a new funding model for the broadcaster when the £3.2 billion-a-year licence fee deal expires in five years’ time, as part of plans to make the British broadcasting system “fit for the streaming age”.
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