BBC licence fee 'no longer fit for purpose' says expert
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Daily Mail Associate Editor Andrew Pierce hit out at the broadcaster, saying “so much for BBC impartiality”. Writing on Twitter, he said: “New @bbc board member Muriel Gray, a former @Channel4 presenter, has derided @BorisJohnson as a buffoon.
“She’s entitled to her view but so much for BBC impartiality.”
The controversy came after the former presenter of the Eighties Channel 4 music show The Tube, Muriel Gray, was appointed by ministers to the broadcaster’s board.
Ms Gray has previously posted a number of anti-Conservative tweets, including criticising Conservative Party policies as “repugnant”.
In a post last year, the Times reported, she described Johnson as a “disinterested frontman” for the government, which she claimed was being run by “egomaniacal, small-man syndrome [Dominic] Cummings”.,
In 2015, she hit out at leaked Tory proposals to cut disability benefits, sharing a picture of disabled children in a playground writing: “Yes Tories. Tax these wee scroungers and their fat cat families for all they’re worth.
“Really good policy. #repugnant.”
According to the Times, in May 2019 she admitted she had “never been able to vote Tory”.
She wrote: “Never been able to vote Tory. Not because of unshakeable partisan views.
“Just strong disagreement on policy and intent.”
In other tweets, the writer and broadcaster has said “anyone forced to deliver Brexit is doomed” and has mocked the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
In 2019, she built “the worst water feature ever”, which she jokingly dubbed “the Brexit Cascade”.
Months later, while watching an episode of Question Time on the BBC, she wrote: “The most depressing thing about #bbcqt is that Brexit has provided jazz hands for mediocre politicians.”
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Kenneth Macdonald, a recently retired senior BBC journalist, described her appointment as a “brave choice”.
He said: “This is a brave and interesting choice but not one that is without risk.
“It could blow up in the BBC’s face.
“The BBC is often accused of being bland.
“Well, I don’t think anybody could accuse Gray of being bland.”
The BBC itself does not play a part in the recruitment process, as the appointment is made by the Queen-in-Council, on the recommendation of the UK Government with the agreement of Scottish Ministers.
Ms Gray will replace TV producer Steve Morrison on the board next year, being paid £33,000 per year for working the equivalent of two days a week.
She will be paid a further £5,000 per year for chairing the board’s Scotland committee.
The BBC board, made up of 14 members, is chaired by Richard Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker who has donated £400,000 to the Tories.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was responsible for Gray’s appointment, said: “All BBC board members are required to leave personal political views at the door and act with impartiality and objectivity in carrying out their roles. Muriel Gray has committed to upholding these standards.”
The BBC declined to comment.
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