BBC 'Out of Touch'

AN MP has accused the BBC of pushing a left-wing agenda after he forced them to admit they purchased more copies of The Guardian than any other national newspaper.

BBC critic Shipley MP Philip Davies said the supposed independent organisation was “out of touch” with the public and pushing its own agenda instead of reflecting public opinion.

Speaking in the Commons he said: “In a Freedom of Information request it confirms that last year the BBC bought more copies of the Guardian than any other national newspaper, despite it only being the eighth most popular paper with the British public. They had 75,000 copies last year, I think they are single handily keeping the guardian afloat.

“Does not this show how out of touch the BBC are with the general public and shouldn’t we expect the national state broadcaster in this country to be more in tune and represent the people it is supposed to represent.”

Commons Leader David Lidington said it was up to the BBC to defend its purchasing of papers but evidence suggested most people value the programmes it produces for TV and radio.

He added: “While we should certainly be on the watch for any examples of wasteful spending or abuse of the kind that has been described, we should not neglect the reality that the BBC is a formidable soft power asset.”

Mr Davies has repeatedly called for the compulsory TV licence fee to be scrapped and the BBC changed to a subscription model, arguing if people value the broadcaster it had nothing to fear and people should not be forced to pay for services it may not want.

He added: “If what Government is saying that people value the service then that strengthens my demand for a subscription model. It would generate more money for the BBC if they are so fantastic, but would also allow people who do not want to watch it not to have to pay for it.”