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BBC White Paper - 12th May 2016

North Thanet`s MP Sir Roger Gale, a former BBC Producer and Director, has this morning welcomed the White Paper relating to the future of the BBC.

Speaking following the Secretary of State`s launch of the document in parliament the MP said:

“The White Paper gives the lie to the hysteria and gloom peddled by many commentators and politicians. The Paper, developed over months of consultation and written weeks ago, sets out a clear pathway for the future of an editorially independent but accountable public broadcasting service. Emphasis on the remit to “Educate inform and entertain” is maintained, as is the right of the BBC to schedule, and the requirement upon the Corporation to be impartial and to develop programmes distinctive from the commercial offering strengthens the position. The BBC is also offered, over an eleven year period, financial stability.

While the BBC has made and continues to make excellent programmes its governance has left a great deal to be desired. For instance, the lamentable handling of the Savile case and the wholly unwarranted dismissal of the broadcaster Mr. Tony Blackburn as a scapegoat and smokescreen to cover the publication of Dame Janet Smith1`s report, have demonstrated failings on the part of the current and past Directors General and of the Chairman of the Trustees.

While it is clearly right that a period of transition is permitted the replacement of the Trustees with a new Board and the transfer of regulatory authority to the already established and respected OFCOM has got to be welcome. Again, fears that the new Board would be dominated by “Government appointed placemen” have proved very wide of the mark. While there will certainly be Government nominees responsible for representing the interests of the four nations of the United Kingdom the majority of members will be appointed by the BBC. That is in sharp contrast to the present position in which, previously, members of the BBC Trust were all appointed by government.

I am pleased that the current Chairman of the Trust has recognised that this will strengthen the governance of the Corporation and hope that those ill-informed critics of the process will now permit the process of transition to continue in an orderly fashion”

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