‘BBC has had its day’ Former MEP and Defund the BBC supporter launches scathing attack

BBC ‘indulging itself on licence fee money’ says expert

The businessman has been a vocal supporter of the Defund the BBC campaign and has made repeated calls for the Government to axe the annual £157.50 fee and let the broadcaster be financed along similar lines to Sky television or streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime and Disney+.

If it thinks it provides such valuable content, then surely a subscription service would be perfect?!

Rupert Lowe

In his latest demands for reform, Mr Lowe tweeted: “The BBC has had its day.

“If it thinks it provides such valuable content, then surely a subscription service would be perfect?!”

Mr Lowe has previously added his voice to the growing concerns surrounding the impartiality of social media posts from the broadcaster’s journalists.

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Bosses have already warned staffers about airing their own personal views on Twitter but Mr Lowe said the time had now come to make a stand.

He tweeted: “Some journalists seem to think when they get their BBC accreditation and a blue tick on Twitter it gives them the right to preach to the rest of us.

“It wouldn’t bother me, but we’re the ones who have to pay their salaries. Make it a subscription service and let us decide!”

Mr Lowe is a prominent backer of the Defund the BBC campaign group which was launched last year to demand the decriminalisation of non-licence fee payment.

The former chairman of Southampton Football Club donated the full cost of a television licence – plus 50 pence on top – to the group.

At the time he tweeted: “I’m so fed up with the BBC’s sneering arrogance, I’ve decided to donate the cost of a licence fee to @DefundBBC (50p spare!).

“Their work is well worth supporting, however you can.

“The money will be far better spent with them.”

BBC bosses came under growing pressure to justify the fee last year amid rows over scrapping free licences for over-75s, presenter salaries, political bias and accusations of “woke culture” within the corporation.

Tim Davie, who replaced Lord Hall as the BBC’s director-general in 2020, has vowed to make changes at the heart of the BBC.

But a number of Tory ministers and senior MPs have raised concerns about the value for money provided by the licence fee which costs £157.50 a year.

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Culture Minister John Whittingdale said justification for the licence fee will “diminish over time” and the corporation will eventually have to seek “alternative means of funding”.

Mr Whittingdale made the comments during an appearance before the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

He told MPs: “The justification that everybody benefited from paying it because everybody benefited from the BBC is still largely the case, but will diminish over time.

“I suspect that eventually we will need to look at alternative means of funding the BBC.”

He added there is “an attraction in subscription, at least in part”.

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