CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DCMS – IMPARTIALITY OF THE BBC – 18 January 2007

Dr Julian Lewis: The Secretary of State will realise that licence fee payers do not expect their money to pay for airtime to be given to racists, Nazis, Taliban and other supporters of terrorism at home and abroad. Will she build on the excellent and encouraging answer given by the Leader of the House earlier today, and state whether she has made representations to the BBC about the opinion expressed on 28 November by the head of BBC News that such views should be accorded equal respect to those of democratic representatives? Alternatively, does she agree with the Minister with responsibility for community cohesion, who rightly regarded any such shift as dangerous?

[The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell): The Leader of the House answered the hon. Gentleman's question clearly, and I entirely agree with him. Let me underline that the policing of accuracy and impartiality is a job for the BBC Trust, but it does it on behalf of the wider public, who want just that: reliable accuracy and impartiality.]