More than 100 MPs and peers have united to demand the BBC protect its Politics Live programme from the axe so that it can continue scrutinising the government.
The cross-party group of 106 politicians have written to the corporation warning that dropping the topical issues show would ‘seriously harm the ability of the BBC to scrutinise and explain the consequences of policy announcements’.
Among those to sign the letter calling for a ‘firm commitment be made to the future of Politics Live’ is former Labour culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, Tory ex-cabinet minister Theresa Villiers and acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey.
Have your say
Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.
Others giving it their backing include Green MP Caroline Lucas, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts and former Conservative Party vice-chairman Ben Bradley MP.
The broadcaster announced a raft of cuts to its English TV and radio output this month, declaring that BBC England must save £25 million by April 2022.
As part of the cost-cutting measures, the corporation plans to shed 450 jobs – and reports have swirled that the future of Politics Live ‘hangs in the balance’ as a result of the shake-up.
The show has recently returned once a week after production was paused during the Covid-19 crisis.
The letter was coordinated by Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper, who addressed to director general Tony Hall and his successor Tim Davie.
The letter said: ‘We are writing concerning reports that the future of BBC Politics Live remains uncertain.
‘Politics Live has played a critical, daily role in holding the government and politicians in Westminster to account.
‘The loss of this programme, particularly given the context of the coronavirus pandemic, would seriously harm the ability of the BBC to scrutinise and explain the consequences of policy announcements.
‘Moreover, it is deeply concerning that the consequences of cutting this programme would see the loss of yet another show fronted by a woman at a time when the BBC should be doing more to promote diversity.
‘With the BBC’s obligations as a public service broadcaster, we believe these cuts should be reviewed and a firm commitment be made to the future of Politics Live.’