BBC news: Beeb sparks fury as MPs demand END of licence fee: ‘Lineker spouts off!’ | UK | News (Reports)

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MPs will call for the £159 a year fee to be abolished after growing public upset at being forced to pay or face court action. The Parliamentary debate was triggered after more than 110,000 people signed a petition calling for the bill to be dropped as soon as possible. Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis, who is leading the debate, said the BBC’s reputation has nose-dived in recent years.

He said: “It really started to take a turn after the 2016 referendum.

“Every time you turned on the BBC it was Brexit-bashing, Euro-bleating drivel, which called its impartiality into question.

“People are also very upset when they look at stars like Gary Lineker making these whopping salaries while being allowed to spout off his views politically.”

Mr Gullis said there are so many alternatives now to the BBC that viewers question why they are forced to pay the fee.

And he said the corporation’s decision to withdraw free licences for the over-75s has done “irreparable damage” to its reputation and “people are incensed”.

Non-payers face the threat of court action and can end up in jail if they fail to pay any fines that are given.

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“Discussions are taking place between the Department of Culture and the BBC and we hope our petition will push forward a solution to this long running dispute.

“750,000 older people are refusing to pay the new fee and the BBC is unable to enforce it, so the current situation is unsustainable.

“The Government must now force the issue with the BBC, as both bodies have broken their promises.

“The Budget next week would be a great opportunity for a revised policy to be outlined.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The licence fee continues to ensure the BBC is an independent, universal broadcaster, committed to serving all audiences and investing in British creativity.

“Each week 91 percent of UK adults come to the BBC, for impartial news, award-wining programmes, great radio and music and the best of public service broadcasting like our Lockdown Learning offer.

“The licence fee remains the agreed method of funding in the BBC Charter until at least 2027 and we will continue to offer great value for money.”

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