Eastwood MP says he has 'ripped up' his TV licence amid Diana scandal

Eastwood’s MP said he had "ripped up" his TV licence and would not be paying the BBC another penny during a speech in parliament this week.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 10:40 am

Conservative politician Lee Anderson offered his opinion in a debate over Lord Dyson's report on the BBC.

The controversial report found Martin Bashir had falsified bank statements to suggest Princess Diana was under surveillance, in order to coax her into taking part in the famous interview 26 years ago.

It was deemed the BBC then covered up 'deceitful behaviour' and in a statement the broadcaster promised it would now be reviewing its editorial policies.

MP Lee Anderson speaking in the House of Commons on Monday.

MP Lee Anderson said he had torn up his licence and declared he would not be paying it again during a debate in the House of Commons on Monday, May 24.

An urgent question intended for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport asked if the MP would make a statement into the findings of Lord Dyson's report.

Mr Anderson said: "The findings of the Dyson Report come as no surprise to the residents in Ashfield, who have lost all confidence in the BBC.

"I personally have ripped up my TV licence and they will not be getting another penny from me, ever.

"Because in my opinion, the once-great BBC is wrong and my constituents should not have to pay for a service if they do not use it.

"So does my right honourable friend agree with me, that one way to make BBC behave in the future is to make it a subscription service?"

Responding to his question the Minister of State for Media and Data, John Whittingdale, said Mr Anderson was "right" that the BBC had "lost touch" and now faced a great challenge winning back the confidence of its audience.

He said: “One of the great challenges the BBC faces is to reconnect with the people that Mr Anderson represents.

"I think there is a wide-spread feeling that the BBC is too metropolitan-centered and that it has lost touch with the views of a large part of the British population.

"That is something which I think the BBC themselves recognise.”

Regarding the suggested subscription, Mr Whittingdale said licensing is to remain until 2027, by guarantee of the BBC's Royal Charter, but highlighted there will be an ongoing debate into the nature of the TV licence.

He said: “It would require quite significant changes to the way in which people would receive their television to move to a fully subscription model. But I have no doubt that this is a debate that has already started and will continue.”

Many constituents have supported Lee’s comments on social media.

Darrell Aram posted: “I never watch BBC so why should I pay?”

Huw Williams commented: ‘Lee on the button as ever, echoing the feelings of most normal people.’

A standard TV licence costs £159 is required by law if you watch or record live TV, stream a programme online or download any BBC show on iPlayer.

The maximum penalty for not paying is £1,000.

Visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk for more information.