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Tory MP complains BBC’s annual report does not include Union flags

Tory MP James Wild (pictured above) claimed licence fee payers want the Union flag to feature more frequently on BBC documents - Credit: Richard Townshend/Houses of Parliament

A Tory MP has clashed with a BBC chief over the lack of Union flags featuring in the corporation’s annual report.

James Wild MP repeatedly asked new director-general Tim Davie why the flag had failed to appear on the report during a Commons grilling on the BBC’s role as a representative of Britain on the world stage.

Davie hit back saying the number of flags was a “strange metric” by which to measure the BBC’s British credentials, adding there was “no problem” with the broadcaster’s role promoting the country abroad. Davie then pointed out that a Union flag flies above the BBC headquarters in London.

Wild, a Norfolk MP of the 2019 intake, referenced last week’s dispute over mockery of a minister’s flag by BBC Breakfast hosts, and said his constituents would “expect to see probably more than one flag” appearing in the report.

“You may not, but licence fee payers may do,” Wild told the director-general during an appearance before the Public Accounts Committee to discuss the BBC’s financial management.

Davie replied: “We’re very proud of being British and we’ve been out there sowing Britain abroad, and the UK creative industries, for many years.

Director General of the BBC, Tim Davie (pictured above), has clashed with a Tory MP over the corporation’s use of the Union flag – Credit: PA

“It’s not just about the flag, let’s face it, it’s about the UK and us getting out there and building business for the country.”

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