Hunt squirms on Lineker probe and says he will keep funding BBC

Jeremy Hunt has backed continuing to pour billions of taxpayer’s money into the BBC amid growing pressure to end the licence fee as the Gary Lineker row spirals. But the Chancellor has warned that the BBC needs to sort out its impartiality issues in the wake of the millionaire Match of the Day presenter’s political intervention on social media.

Mr Hunt said he “believes in a taxpayer-funded broadcaster”.

He went on: “We are very lucky to be in a country where we have an organisation that is an independent arbiter of the truth.”

Total BBC income in 2021/22 was £5.33billion, 71 percent of which came from the licence fee revenues. The remaining 29% or £1.53 billion came from commercial and other activities (such as grants, royalties and rental income).

Mr Hunt insisted: “BBC independence really does matter for the country that is why I think it is important that we let the BBC sort out these problems.

“What I want to see as the outcome is trust being maintained in what is a very important institution.”

Asked if the current BBC leadership is “too close to the government” he said: “I don’t think it is for me to make those judgements.”

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