I want my money back! BBC row sparks bitter Brexit backlash from Remainers

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Famous faces have expressed support for the corporation after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries indicated the fee would be scrapped. Comedian David Baddiel tweeted: “If, as the Government is implying re the BBC, we should only pay for something we like and agree with, I wonder if I can ask for all the money back I’ve had to spend in taxes on Brexit.”

To which fellow Twitter user JymWhitelaw replied: “Brexit was voted for the BBC wasn’t!”.

Blabias shot back: “‘I’ve had to spend in taxes on Brexit?’… Not your best line.”

And Strangegirly responded, tweeting: “Ahhhh but it’s a democracy. Most people wanted Brexit and most people don’t want the BBC as it is.”

It comes after Ms Dorries, 64, said in a tweet that the next announcement about the licence fee will be the last with reports it will be frozen for the next two years.

The annual payment normally changes on April 1 each year but it is expected to be kept at its current rate of £159 until April 2024.

Ms Dorries has indicated that she wants to find a new funding model for the Corporation after the current licence fee funding deal expires in 2027.

Former BBC chairman Lord Grade backed the expected freeze.

Asked whether it is justified, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It has got to be. £159 a year may not be a lot of money to Gary Lineker, or many of the BBC executives and the commentators, but it’s a heck of a lot of money for the majority of people in this country.

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“When there is inflation, hopefully temporary, and the energy crisis and so on, it’s a heck of a lot. It’s too much money.”

He suggested BBC Two and BBC Four could be scrapped, adding that Ms Dorries had fired the starting pistol on the debate about how you deliver the best of the BBC “which is a cornerstone of the creative industries in this country, which are hugely important to the economy”.

Lineker tweeted: “Yes the BBC brings you the best in news, in sport, in drama, in music, in children’s, in science, in history, in entertainment, in current affairs and Sir David bloody Attenborough…. but apart from that what has the BBC ever done for us?”

However, speaking in the Commons, Ms Dorries hinted on Monday that the Government could still commit to the licence fee over the long term.

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She said: “It’s time to begin asking those really serious questions about the long-term funding model of the BBC and whether a mandatory licence fee with criminal penalties for individual households is still appropriate.”

The Mid Bedfordshire MP told MPs: “The BBC has been entertaining and informing us for 100 years and I want it to continue to thrive and be a global beacon in the UK and in the decades to come.

“But this is 2022, not 1922. We need a BBC that is forward-looking and ready to meet the challenges of modern broadcasting.”

She said a Government review would consider how the BBC should be funded going forwards. 

Express.co.uk reader Boethius commented: “Yet again with this pathetic government, all talk and no action.”

Fellow reader Pokey said: “The Tories are always watering things down and taking us for fools.”

Reader Ila mas dos asked: “Anyone else voting Tory again? Not Me. Failure after failure. Lie after lie.”

And Quality Counts fumed: “Nadine any U Turn on removing the Licence fee and therefore making the BBC go self supporting is another reason on top of others to no longer vote Tory.”



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