Those who work for the BBC ‘should respect impartiality!’ says Culture Secretary

Those who work for the BBC ‘should respect impartiality!’ says Culture Secretary
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 22/01/2024

- 09:04

Updated: 22/01/2024

- 09:05

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer says she is "monitoring" the BBC carefully

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has said that people who work for the BBC “should respect impartiality”.

She told GB News: “I think it's really important that those who work for the BBC, and this is what the guidelines say, respect that impartiality and that they don't undermine the reputation of the BBC.

“Obviously, it's for the BBC and not for me to determine whether those guidelines have been crossed by any particular presenter and it's something that I know audiences and I are monitoring very carefully.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, she continued: “The guidelines, social media guidelines, set out that presenters, those who are employed by the BBC, should not bring the BBC into disrepute.

“And what I would say in relation to my role on this, I'm looking at this very carefully. I'm looking at whether the guidelines are sufficient.

“I’m looking at whether the BBC is enforcing those guidelines, but the right time for me to get involved is in a charter review and that's what I would do, having looked at these issues very carefully and monitoring what the BBC are doing.”

She added: “What I'm interested in is what audiences say and what we know from statistics from Ofcom is that audiences are feeling like the BBC is not performing that role in relation to impartiality and they are getting less impartial.

“Last year 39% of complaints about the BBC were about impartiality, when the year before they were 19%. So, trust in the impartiality of the BBC, unfortunately, is going down.

“It's a really, really valuable institution, we should hold the BBC in high regard, but it's got more to do…”

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