BBC ‘didn’t understand’ reasons for people voting Brexit, claims Tory MP

PUBLISHED: 14:44 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 February 2020

Media trucks outside BBC Broadcasting House in London. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

Media trucks outside BBC Broadcasting House in London. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

A Tory MP has claimed that the BBC did not understand why people voted for Brexit.

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The newly-elected chair of the House of Commons culture committee told Radio 4's World At One he believed "the BBC in many areas does a first-rate job of covering the PSB [public service broadcasting] landscape".

But he said that he believed coverage of Brexit had been flawed.

Julian Knight said there had been "quite widespread disquiet over certain parts of the BBC's coverage, for example over the Brexit referendum, and the two years after".

Asked if he thought it was biased, he said: "Well, I think that many people would say that they felt that the BBC maybe perhaps lost sight of the argument for those who wanted to leave. I speak as someone who campaigned for Remain.

"But there are many people probably who felt that the BBC in its coverage didn't quite understand the cross-currents that were going on in society."

Knight refused to say if he was a supporter of the licence fee, however, said that he was a supporter of public service broadcasting and had reservations for turning the BBC into a subscription service.

He said that he was concerned that such a model would lead to viewers being excluded, but said there needed to be "an open conversation" about how the BBC is funded.

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