BBC faces demands to give ‘nation a choice’ over TV licence fee as Brits ‘outraged’

BBC 'should become a subscription service' says MP

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Tory MP Lee Anderson conducted a poll via Facebook to ask his constituents whether they think the BBC TV licence fee should be scrapped and an overwhelming majority said it should. Speaking to, Mr Anderson said: “The colleagues I speak to are on the same page. There’s outrage in Parliament. I think most people out there on the street when I did a poll 90 percent agreed with me that we should defund the BBC and make it a subscription service.

“The vast majority of the country agrees.

“The BBC is not what it was. It’s not what was 30 to 40 years ago.

“They’ve done nothing over the past five to six years other than slag us off on Brexit.

“It’s quite obvious there’s a political agenda and the nation now have seen through it and it’s time to give people a choice; if you want to watch the BBC, pay for a subscription.”

It comes as Lord Botham has urged his fellow members of the House of Lords to back his calls for over-75s not to be threatened with legal action over the non-payment of the TV licence.

The universal right to a free TV licence ended last year for the age group and only those in receipt of pension credit do not have to pay.

Former cricketer Sir Ian, a prominent Brexit supporter, became a peer last year.

In a letter to BBC director-general Tim Davie, he said: “The BBC has many friends who want it to survive but the treatment of the over-75s is undermining that goodwill.”

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He added there should be an “explicit pledge” from TV Licencing, the organisation which logs whether or not households own a licence, that they “will never prosecute anyone over 75”.

“This problem was not created by you but it rests with you to help solve it,” the letter to Mr Davie stated.

“We would like to hear how you plan to tackle this problem before public outrage grows further.”

Lord Botham told peers in a separate letter he was motivated to act after seeing media reports about the “horrific way” in which over-75s are being pursued for the licence fee.


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“In my view, this is institutional bullying on a massive scale and there seems to be some kind of blame game between the BBC and Government,” he said.

“I’m no politician but this feels like a real scandal affecting the very frail that needs sorting out.”

Writing in The Telegraph earlier this month, Lord Botham said the way in which over-75s are being treated over TV licencing is “a scandal no one is talking about”.

The BBC agreed to take on responsibility for funding TV licences for over-75s as part of the charter agreement with the Government in 2015, but has since said it cannot afford to continue the universal benefit.

Mr Davie has previously said that not implementing the policy would have cost the corporation £700 million.

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