MPs slam BBC over Bashir scandal with one boasting of ripping up TV licence

ANGRY MPs battered the BBC yesterday over the Martin Bashir scandal, with one boasting of ripping up his TV licence.

The barrage of criticism came as desperate bosses at the Beeb launched an internal probe into the fiasco.

Tory Lee Anderson was among those lashing out in the Commons.

A hard-hitting report by Lord Dyson last week found that Bashir lied and forged documents to win his 1995 Princess Diana interview.

BBC bosses then spent years covering up the truth.

Mr Anderson, MP for Red Wall seat Ashfield in Notts, called for the BBC to lose its funding and warned that the Corporation had lost touch with viewers.

He raged: “The findings of the Dyson report come as no surprise to many who have lost all confidence in the BBC.

“And I personally have ripped up my TV licence, and they won’t get another penny from me ever. The once-great BBC is rotten, and my constituents should not have to pay for a service if they don’t use it.”

Culture Minister John Whittingdale said: “One of the great challenges the BBC faces is to reconnect with the people.

“I think there is a widespread feeling that the BBC is too metropolitan-centred and that it has lost touch with the views of a large part of the population.”

He said the BBC’s reputation had been “badly tarnished”. Ex-Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said police should consider prosecuting Bashir and his BBC bosses for fraud.

Yesterday the Beeb announced its own internal investigation, led by non-executive directors Sir Nick Serota, Ian Hargreaves and Sir Robbie Gibb. It will report by the end of September.

In a statement the BBC Board said: “We accepted Lord Dyson’s findings and reiterate the apology we offered to all those affected.

“We also acknowledge that audiences had a right to expect better from the BBC. We must not just assume mistakes of the past cannot be repeated today.

“As such, we think it is right that we review the effectiveness of the BBC’s editorial policies and governance in detail.”

Ofcom chief Melanie Dawes has written to the BBC to “strongly suggest” its review gets advice from independent experts.

Ofcom will also launch its first review into the BBC, as required under the Beeb’s new charter.

The Sun Says

POLITICIANS from all sides lined up to savage the BBC yesterday over its journalistic lies and deceit and decades of executive cover-up, as laid bare by Lord Dyson.

Not only was his report into the securing of the infamous Princess Diana interview “utterly damning” and indicative of “more than a whiff of criminality”, it raised many more questions for the BBC top brass, they agreed.

But have no fear. The BBC is holding its own review. Which might be fine, if the Dyson report hadn’t already found Auntie’s first internal review to be “woefully ineffective”.

Forgive us for trusting a rehash as much as a Martin Bashir bank statement,  with the Jimmy Savile  scandal and the filming of the raid on innocent Cliff Richard  fresh in the memory.

The BBC’s entire editorial culture, driven by an out-of-touch metropolitan elite  and with a badly misplaced feeling of superiority, is in dire need of reform.

Another internal whitewash won’t cut it.

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