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BBC warning: Boris Johnson urged to pressure broadcaster as over-75s rage at licence fee

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Silver Voices Director Dennis Reed argued the movement to see the BBC’s free TV licence for over-75s revoked has seen significant support. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Reed insisted his campaign group had support from the public and Members of Parliament. He added that while Boris Johnson has supported this, he demanded he and his Government do more to put pressure on the BBC.

Mr Reed said: “We have been getting cross-party support to be honest.

“Many Ministers have commented and I believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson has commented that they would like the BBC to restore this free licence.

“What is missing is the Government telling the BBC to restore these free licences.”

Mr Reed noted that there was significant support for change to the BBC’s ruling but more action needed to be taken from the Government.

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He continued: “There is no shortage of support across parties.

“The Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens has supported our campaign, Lord Fookes who is in the cross-party ageing group in the House of Lords has supported our campaign.

“We have got the support there but that support is not translating itself into anything happening as far as the restoring of the licences is concerned.”

Mr Reed also said he and his campaign group would be ramping up their campaigns to put pressure on the BBC.

According to Mr Reed, his current gum-up-the-works campaign has proven successful in reducing how quickly the BBC receives money from TV licencing fees.

Mr Reed said: “We are intensifying the gum up the works campaign.

“The campaign withdrawing cooperation from TV licensing has been successful in creating chaos in TV licensing.

“But it is not been sufficient for the BBC to change its position.

“We balloted all of our over-75 members a couple of weeks ago and they voted, by 90 percent, to refuse to pay their licence fees in protest at the loss of their free licences.”

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Mr Reed noted that these were choices made by individuals, and his campaign group would be supporting those that chose to do so in any way they can.

The BBC has previously responded to the claims made by Mr Reed by repeating that giving everyone over the age of 75 a free TV licence is no longer something it can afford.

On licensing fees, a BBC spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “It was the Government who decided to stop funding free TV licences for the over 75s.

“The BBC Board believes the fairest option is to help the poorest older pensioners.

“Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit.

“Critically, it is not the BBC making that judgement about poverty, it is the Government who set and control who is eligible for Pension Credit and what level of payments are made.”

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