BBC TV licence row: Boris Johnson ‘tone deaf’ amid rising anger at mandatory levy

Defund the BBC chief labels government ‘tone deaf’

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The Defund the BBC Campaign Director has warned that despite widespread support for the scrapping of the tv license fee, Boris Johnson’s Government has been “tone deaf” on the issue. Ms Ryan told Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs that the growing anti-BBC license fee movement was winning on the “popular front.” However, she warned there was still “a lot of work to do” to make reforming the broadcaster’s funding model a political priority.

Ms Ryan told the IEA boss’s Live With Littlewood show: “We want people not to be forced to pay for the BBC if they want to watch any live TV. 

“So that means either to goes over to the subscription model or the licence fee is just reduced just to covering down just BBC content.

“I mean how they fund themselves is up to them and their willing paying customers.

“But you know your view is if you don’t want to pay for the BBC you shouldn’t have to pay for it via basically what is tax.”

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“We have huge popular support we gained 100,000 followers on Twitter within the first week virtually it was very very quick.

“It is something that people feel very very strongly about.

“The government seems to be rather tone-deaf to that though at the moment.

“I think the cosy relationship with the BBC is rather helpful at the moment particularly with Covid so we are winning on the popular front.

“But on the political front, there is still a lot of work to do there.

BBC licence fee 'no longer fit for purpose' says expert

It comes after the Annabel Denham from the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank told TalkRADIO that the licence fee “needs to be scrapped.

Ms Denham said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of the licence fee.

“Now of course when the TV licence was introduced we live in a world of very limited spectrum and had just one television channel.

“In the three-quarters of a century since technology has come on leaps and bounds.

“We now have a huge range of television channels, streaming services and quote simply the licence fee is outdated, it’s anachronistic and it is no longer fit for purpose.” 

The IEA Director of Communications continued: “It ought to be scrapped and in my view, we should transition to a subscriber-owned mutual.

“But one thing is clear that is it needs to be abolished and the sooner the better.”

“I would agree totally,” replied Whale.

She added that the corporation had become “totally socialist in their views.”

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