Tory MP Andrew Griffith calls for ‘a change in culture’ at BBC
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Amid the criticism of how the BBC obtained the interview with Princess Diana, and indeed the following probe in 1996, Sir John Redwood attacked the broadcaster for “fanning division” in the UK. In a bold attack against the BBC, the Tory MP for Wokingham claimed the broadcaster stands against the “the pro-Brexit majority”. Writing on his blog, the MP also claimed the broadcaster has boosted the cause for nationalist movements in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
He said: “The BBC is meant to be a UK institution.
“It should help create a sense of common culture and shared democratic conversation for citizens anywhere in our Union who want that. Instead in recent years, the BBC has fanned division.
“It has helped nationalist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gain more voice for protest and grievance.
“It has stood for the continuing submission of our country to government from Brussels against the pro-Brexit majority.
“It has belittled and ignored England, perhaps with a view to building an English backlash to nationalisms elsewhere in our Union as the SNP and others want.”
Indeed, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden questioned the BBC due to the findings from Lord Dyson.
He also revealed considerations will now be made ahead of the charter negotiations with the broadcaster.
Mr Dowden also criticised the BBC for a “we know best” attitude while failing to “project British values”.
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In support of the minister, Sir John added: “The BBC’s treatment of England is a disgrace. It is as if our country did not exist.
“We are treated in England to a regular diet of commentary on the words and deeds of the SNP government in Scotland.
“The BBC gives Scotland its own Scottish news then muddles the national newscast with English news because it cannot bring itself to have an English news to match the Scottish news.”
On Sunday, Home Secretary Priti Patel refused to rule out an independent editorial board to assess the BBC on the Andrew Marr show.
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Next year, the BBC’s charter will be reviewed in what will be a significant moment in the broadcaster’s governance following the findings from the Dyson inquiry.
Last week, Lord Dyson concluded former journalist Martin Bashir had used deceitful means to obtain an interview with Diana in 1995.
Lord Dyson found the BBC journalist to have commissioned fake bank account statements, which suggested Diana was being monitored by security services.
The statements had been shown to Diana’s younger brother, Earl Spencer who then helped organise the interview where his sister opened up about her life within the Firm.
As well as falling short of its standards on impartiality and transparency, the report also concluded found the 1996 probe into the interview to be “ineffective”.
The inquiry was also only commissioned last year after the Earl questioned how the BBC had acquired the interview.
Falling the report, Mr Bashir and the BBC have apologised to the Princes William and Harry, their father and Earl Spencer.
The broadcaster is also returning its awards, including a TV Bafta, for the interview.
Despite the accusations of bias, the broadcaster has strict editorial guidelines that it adheres to across all channels and is taking a tougher stance on what its personalities say on social media.
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