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Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has called for the resignation of the BBC’s chairman Richard Sharp to restore the perception of independence at the organisation.
Speaking on the BBC’s own Breakfast programme, Davey said the Tory government had been “undermining” the national broadcaster “over a number of years”.
The BBC is a great British institution. Its trusted news is important for our country, our democracy and also for the world and that’s why its independence is so crucial.
I’m afraid the Conservative government has been undermining the BBC over a number of years now, not least with its appointments. For example, the current chair Richard Sharp.
I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the words he chose to use but some of the sentiments behind the government’s shocking policies and the words that people like the home secretary have used, there are criticisms to be levied at the Conservatives.
The central thing that people want to know is that there isn’t any kind of political agenda in the way the BBC goes about its business, which I’m not saying there is, but that is the confidence people need to have.
I don’t agree with his comments and I personally think that he was wrong to say what he said, but I don’t think it’s for me to decide how that issue is resolved.
If you believe in BBC independence, then it’s not for the chancellor or any other government minister to say how these issues are resolved.