05 February 2019
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell was speaking after his Westminster Hall debate on the lack of independent accountability surrounding the BBC commissioning process.
DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office
Before the debate, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Minister confirmed to Mr. Campbell that he will visit Northern Ireland next month.
The DUP MP said, “Firstly I welcome the DCMS Minister’s decision to come to Northern Ireland in March. Concerns raised by me on numerous occasions regarding the commissioning process of BBC NI programmes need to be resolved. This visit comes as a National Audit Office report is being drafted about these issues. This is unprecedented.
Since the BBC is effectively funded through the public purse, it must adhere to the same standards that other publicly funded organisations would be expected to meet. That is why the National Audit Office is digging, and digging deep I hope. There should be no special treatment for the BBC regardless of who it is. Public money must be administered in a transparent and accountable manner.
The audit office has confirmed that it will provide answers to the questions originally asked of the BBC in 2016, by the end of February. I look forward to the completion of the National Audit Office investigation.
It is a sad reflection on BBC management that the National Audit Office has had to become involved. Such foot-dragging by the BBC does nothing but deepen suspicion and further erode confidence in the license fee.
I really do hope that my worst fears are not confirmed, but if that is not the case then there will be serious repercussions for the BBC. However, the subsequent stonewalling from the BBC does not fill me with much hope.”