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There is no longer any “logical reason” why Britons should subsidise the BBC using taxpayer money, an MP has said. The Conservative Party’s Ben Bradley spoke to campaign group, ‘Defund the BBC’, about the future of the TV licence. Mr Bradley warned that the bias shown by the national broadcaster over issues like Brexit had triggered a huge backlash.
He told viewers: “I don’t think it’s viable and this is my big problem to be honest.
“Bias is frustrating, you see it and and it winds you up. To be honest, lots of media channels are like that but they’re not funded by the taxpayer so they can do what they like.
“The frustration is this funding element, isn’t it? The BBC can have whatever view they want if I’m not paying for it, that’s fine.
“More importantly than the bias is the fact that you go back to the 1940s when there were two or three channels, you can understand why the taxpayer would need to subsidise media.”
Mr Bradley continued: “If you want to be able to get news out there, if you want to be able to get messages across you have to fund that.
“But now there are millions of platforms, literally there are countless choices for news, countless choices for pretty much all the content that the BBC has.
“Some of their content is very good, don’t get me wrong.
“Great documentaries, great dramas, things that actually would compete in a free market and would make some money if they wanted to go out and compete.”
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The MP added: “There’s just no logical reason why the taxpayer, with all the problems and societal ills that we need to solve in the country, should be paying to subsidise telly.
“Brexit has probably meant people have been more wound up by BBC news content.
“Previously go back 10 to 15 years you struggle to see how you would manage to not pay a licence fee and not watch any live telly or anything because it just didn’t exist.”
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Mr Bradley also said: “Whereas now I don’t really watch live TV, I’ve got Netflix and NOW TV and all the kind of subscription services, very rarely watch live TV.
“I think it’s much easier to see now for individuals how you actually probably don’t need to pay it and you could still get the content that you want.”
The future of the BBC’s licence fee is hanging in the balance as dodging the cost could be decriminalised soon.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a review of sanctions for non-payment of the controversial charge last year.
The final decision due in this month September.
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