Businessman Rupert Lowe spoke out amid growing concerns surrounding the impartiality of social media posts from the broadcaster’s journalists. Bosses have already warned staffers about airing their own personal views on Twitter but Mr Lowe said the time had now come to make a stand.
Make it a subscription service and let us decide!
He tweeted: “Some journalists seem to think when they get their BBC accreditation and a blue tick on Twitter it gives them the right to preach to the rest of us.
“It wouldn’t bother me, but we’re the ones who have to pay their salaries. Make it a subscription service and let us decide!”
Mr Lowe is a prominent backer of the Defund the BBC campaign group which was launched this year to demand the decriminalisation of non-licence fee payment.
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BBC bosses are coming under growing pressure to justify the fee amid rows over scrapping free licences for over-75s, presenter salaries, political bias and accusations of “woke culture” within the corporation.
Tim Davie, the BBC’s new director-general, has vowed to make changes at the heart of the BBC.
A growing number of Tory ministers and MPs are voicing concerns about the value for money provided by the licence fee which costs £157.50 a year.
Earlier, Culture Minister John Whittingdale said justification for the licence fee will “diminish over time” and the corporation will eventually have to seek “alternative means of funding”.
Mr Whittingdale made the comments during an appearance before the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
He told MPs: “The justification that everybody benefited from paying it because everybody benefited from the BBC is still largely the case, but will diminish over time.
“I suspect that eventually we will need to look at alternative means of funding the BBC.”
He added there is “an attraction in subscription, at least in part”.
The BBC faces increasing completion from subscription based streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.
Earlier this year Boris Johnson said he was “certainly looking at” a plan to “get rid of all licence fees”.
However, the Prime Minister added this would not be introduced “at this stage”.
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Earlier this year, after the Government cut funding, the BBC announced it would only fund free TV licences for those over-75s who are on pension credit.
Julian Knight, the culture select committee chair and Tory MP, branded the move a “body-blow” for British pensioners.
Age UK added it was “bitterly disappointed with the BBC’s decision”.
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