Michelle Donelanthe newly appointed UK Culture Secretary, is a former marketing manager for A&E Networks UK who has previously called licensing fees an “unfair tax” which she says should be abolished.
MP for Chippenham Donelan, who was named Nadine Dorries’ successor yesterday (September 6), wrote in local newspaper Melksham Independent News in 2019 that she was against the annual charge in principle.
“I personally think the license fee is an unfair tax and should be scrapped,” she said.
His comments were made as part of a petition against the BBC’s decision to end free TV licenses for the over-75s after the government passed responsibility for the cost onto the company.
“The BBC has abdicated its responsibility to the over-75s, especially as BBC salaries have skyrocketed since 2015 – with many of the BBC’s staff earning six or seven figure funded salaries. by licensing fees,” she wrote.
“The BBC is shirking its obligations to its older viewers, many of whom have been its most loyal viewers and have paid full price for television licenses for years.”
Donelan then wrote to chief executive Tim Davie in July 2020 expressing her strong opposition to the “appalling plan”, which she called an “attack on the elderly”.
She will now chair a review of the future of the fee, launched by her predecessor Dorries, who also said she wanted to scrap the funding model.
Donelan previously served as higher education minister before being promoted to education secretary following Nadhim Zahawi’s stint as chancellor in July. She remained in the role for just 48 hours before stepping down in protest at Boris Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher scandal.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she was senior marketing manager at The History Channel, the joint venture between A&E Networks and Sky, for three years from 2007. The channel has since relaunched as Sky History.
In 2010, she held another senior marketing position for the wrestling organization WWE for almost four years.
This story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast