Censorship row erupts as Welsh parliament now faces calls to axe BBC after removing GB News

Andrew RT Davies and BBC Broadcasting House

Censorship row erupts as Welsh parliament now faces calls to axe BBC after removing GB News

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Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 19/10/2023

- 22:14

The move to remove GB News from the Senedd’s internal TV system was blasted as ‘incredibly disturbing’

A censorship row is threatening to consume the Welsh parliament after the Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group called for the BBC to be removed from the internal TV system.

Earlier this week, the Welsh Senedd took the decision to remove GB News from its internal TV system, sparking outrage from members of the parliament.

The decision was justified by a “recent broadcast that was deliberately offensive, demeaning to public debate and contrary to our parliament’s values”.

Today, Andrew RT Davies called on Elin Jones, the Llywydd of the Senedd, to also remove the BBC given the national broadcaster’s numerous scandals over the years and their recent refusal to brand Hamas “terrorists”.

WATCH NOW: Penny Mordaunt speaks on Senedd GB News ban

In an open letter, Davies said the decision to remove GB news sets a “dangerous precedent”.

“I find your decision to ban the network incredibly disturbing,” Davies said.

“Put simply, it is censorship. It also sets a dangerous precedent, which if followed will result in many other broadcasters being removed.

“As you will be aware, the BBC has been involved in a number of scandals over the years.


SeneddGB News will no longer be shown on the Senedd's internal TVsPA

“In 2008, obscene comments of an explicit and sexual nature were made about a woman by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross as part of a Radio 2 show.

“Serious allegations against the presenter Jimmy Savile were covered up. And over the past fortnight, it has refused to describe the proscribed organisation Hamas as ‘terrorists’.”

“I strongly oppose all of these decisions.

“Nonetheless, the BBC is a national broadcaster with a large viewership. I watch its content myself and appear frequently on both its TV and radio stations.

Penny Mordaunt speaks in ParliamentPenny Mordaunt defends GB News after its ban from Welsh ParliamentParliament TV

“I do not want the BBC to be banned by the Senedd. But the precedent you have set means that will now have to happen.

“Other media outlets will also need to be removed. It is therefore imperative that this precedent is removed as soon as possible.

“It is in this spirit that I write to request that the Senedd GB News ban is urgently overturned.”

The latest call to action comes after Penny Mordaunt called out the Welsh Labour party over the ban.

In an address to the commons, Mordaunt said: “Those are the facts Mr Speaker and I can understand why Labour don’t like them, which is perhaps why they have chosen to ban some news programming available on Freeview to anyone operating in the Senedd.”

Mordaunt then followed up the comment with a post on social media which read: “In Labour-controlled Wales, news programming available on Freeview has been banned from the Senedd. Is it because Labour doesn't want to listen to the facts?”

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