Tory deputy chairman demands BBC to ‘bin the licence fee’ – ‘Disgrace and abomination!’ | Politics | News

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Tory deputy chairman Jonathan Gullis has blasted the BBC licence fee as a “disgrace and abomination”.

The MP said it is time for the public broadcaster to end the charge after the corporation’s boss mooted the possibility of means tested licence fee costs in the future.

Mr Gullis said: “It’s a disgrace and abomination. It’s very simple. It’s time to bin the licence fee once and for all make the BBC stand its own two feet completely like any other broadcasters.”

Speaking to GB News, he added: “The sooner the licence fee goes, the better for everyone else.”

BBC director-general Tim Davie said this week he is open to a “more progressive” licence fee and revealed the corporation will launch its “biggest-ever consultation process” next year so the public can drive the debate on its future.

The licence fee has been frozen for two years at £159 but in 2023 the Government announced it would use a lower rate of inflation to increase the household charge from April to £169.50 a year.

The freeze and rising inflation has driven the broadcaster to reassess its priorities as it seeks to make £500million of savings, with Mr Davie announcing on Tuesday that a further £200million of savings will need to be made.

Mr Davie said the broadcaster is planning to “proactively research” how it will reform the licence fee post 2028, after the current charter agreement ends in December 2027.

In a speech, he said: “There is no doubt that the market has changed hugely since the licence fee was introduced and I think it is right to ask fundamental questions about its longevity in a world that is now full of choice.

“We should not create another commercial walled garden or a narrow BBC that provides a niche service for the most hardcore users. The very wonder of the BBC is that quality news sits next to genres such as drama and sport, thus ensuring widespread engagement. This is a precious ecosystem.”

He added that the corporation is “not defensive about the future” and believes it “will need reform”.

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