UK opposition politician pledges to reverse BBC cuts

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse cuts to UK public broadcaster the BBC.

Corbyn is a UK MP and currently the frontrunner in the race to lead the UK Labour party, the main opposition to the current Conservative government.

Outlining his policy for the arts, Corbyn warned that the UK risks going down the same path as the US in terms of public broadcasting. Speaking at an event in London he said:“If you look at what’s happened in the US… there was once relatively well-funded public service broadcasting but it has been systematically underfunded and almost totally destroyed. The news values in the US are now largely set by Fox News. That is where you end up if you encourage a total free market in commercially led broadcasting.”

In his policy document, Corbyn said the BBC’s ‘Delivering Quality First’ programme, which has involved a headcount reduction of about 2,000 and wide-ranging cost cuts, risks destroying quality at the broadcaster.

“The Labour Party must be at the forefront of the campaigning to defend the licence fee as a means of funding the BBC and to reverse the year-on-years cuts, which have severely wounded one of the world’s most respected broadcasting organisations”.

In a section of the policy document headlined ‘The BBC is under threat and we must protect it’, Corbyn added: “We must ensure the BBC can continue to provide quality news and current affairs at a local, national and international level. We want the BBC to continue to provide high-quality drama and arts, the Proms, Open University, children’s programmes, orchestras and to inform, educate and entertain the nation.”