18 July 2017
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has questioned why the BBC has held off releasing details of highly paid BBC staff so that Parliament is rising for its summer recess and whether the timing was to avoid the level of scrutiny that the BBC demands of others.
DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office
Speaking after raising the matter during a Point of Order in the House of Commons the DUP MP said,
“The BBC is our public sector broadcaster, paid for by the general public through the licence fee. The campaign to finally secure this level of transparency from the BBC has taken in the region of ten years.
Having firstly avoided taking this decision and then more lately dragged their feet on publication of these details the BBC is now finally releasing the information the day before Parliament rises for the summer and therefore avoiding detailed Parliamentary scrutiny.
The Speaker confirmed that no Minister will make a statement to the House on the issue so the BBC may have hoped to escape detailed scrutiny by releasing this information during the summer “media silly season”.
The public knows well what various outlets across the BBC have to say about government departments or other public bodies which conveniently release information at such times in the hope that it won’t make too much of a story. For an organisation that has demanded full disclosure from other organisations and allowed fulsome debate and discussion when there has been a hint of 'deliberate timing' by Government, MP's and others to avoid closer scrutiny, this takes some beating for 24 carat hypocrisy on the BBC's part. It will come as no surprise however to those of us who have campaigned on this front for so long. The timing of this publication demonstrates the BBC is often not prepared to provide the level of openness and transparency itself that it demands from others. They will not however, avoid the harsh spotlight of truth however much they try”.