Culture secretary

New Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries says BBC may not EXIST in a decade

Cabinet Minister Nadine Dorries was quizzed today on whether the BBC will still exist a decade from now – as she accused the broadcaster of nepotism and elitism.

The Culture Secretary has demanded changes within the organisation, saying its staff should reflect a wider demographic than people “whose mothers and fathers work there”.

Speaking at a Conservative Party side event, the Liverpudlian said its ‘group mentality’ excluded minorities and people with regional accents.

When asked if the levy would still be mandatory in 10 or 20 years, she replied, “I can’t look to the future. Will the BBC still be here in 10 years? I do not know.

The Culture Secretary has demanded changes within the organisation, saying its staff should reflect a wider demographic than people “whose mothers and fathers work there”.

“We cannot look to the future. It’s a very competitive environment right now.

Bias at the BBC

The BBC has been repeatedly accused of bias by critics

In July, it emerged the company had received a record 500,000 complaints from viewers in a year amid concerns over the broadcaster’s “perceived bias”.

The figures were revealed in the BBC’s annual report, which acknowledged that “too many people perceive the BBC to be shaped by one particular perspective”.

The list of complaints was topped by Emily Maitlis with her monologue on Newsnight about Dominic Cummings in May 2020.

Ms Maitlis, when discussing Mr Cummings’ trip from London to Durham during the first national lockdown, claimed the former adviser to Boris Johnson had ‘broken the rules’ adding: ‘The country can see that, and he’s shocked that the government can’t. ”

His speech subsequently sparked 23,674 complaints and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom warned the BBC that presenters must not “inadvertently appear to be expounding personal views”.

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, alongside co-host and Charlie Stayt, also drew 6,498 complaints after the couple appeared to mock Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick over the size of the flag of Union in his office.

Ms Munchetty was later forced to apologize after liking social media posts in support of the on-air comments.

“You have Amazon Prime, Netflix and other bods coming down the line.

“This younger generation coming in is definitely watching their TV in a very different way than how my generation watched their TV, so who knows where we’ll be?”

Ms Dorries, 64, also admitted she would pay the licensing fee if it became a voluntary payment – but only to watch Strictly Come Dancing.

She insisted she didn’t want a ‘war’ with the broadcaster, but suggested he should explain how that would change before the next license fee settlement, which covers the five years from April 2022.

Ms Dorries, who rose from working-class Liverpool to become a best-selling author and Cabinet minister, slammed the lack of opportunities in the arts and sports for children with similar upbringings.

At an event hosted by the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast, Ms Dorries, who has only been in her post since the September reshuffle, said she had had “an interesting meeting” with BBC Director-General Tim Davie, and the president, Richard Sharp.

“The BBC’s perspective is that it will receive a settlement fee and then we will talk about how it will change,” the culture secretary said.

“My view is ‘tell me how you’re going to change and then you’ll get the settlement fee’.

Ms Dorries highlighted a range of issues she had with the broadcaster, including a lack of working-class diversity and perceived political bias.

“It’s about acknowledging that access and lack of fairness is part of your problem,” she said.

She said there was ‘groupthink’ within society that ‘excludes working class circles’.

“North West, North East, Yorkshire – if you have a regional accent at the BBC it doesn’t go down particularly well,” she said.

“They talk about a lot of things to do with diversity, but they don’t talk about working-class kids and that needs to change.”

When asked how to solve this problem, she replied: “It’s not about quotas, it’s just about having a fairer approach and a less elitist and less snobbish approach to who works for you.”

Speaking at a Conservative Party side event, the Liverpudlian said his

Speaking at a Conservative Party side event, the Liverpudlian said its ‘group mentality’ excluded minorities and people with regional accents.

At an event hosted by the Telegraph's Chopper's Politics podcast, Ms Dorries, who has only been in her role since the September reshuffle, said she had

At an event hosted by the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast, Ms Dorries, who has only been in her post since the September reshuffle, said she had had “an interesting meeting” with BBC Director-General Tim Davie (pictured) and President Richard Sharp.

Ms Dorries told the event that the path from a poor background to the peak of a career in the arts or media was “completely gone”.

“People I went to school with, from my background – I borrowed shoes to go to school, and people I went to school with, who had done the exact same thing – one of them became Cher’s music producer, another went on to be a well-known TV broadcaster.

“People from my background have written books, written plays, and been very successful.

‘If you want to do this today you need a two-pronged name, you must have gone to a private or public school or your mother needs to know someone, or your father needs to know someone ‘one, or you must have a connection to the BBC.’

She added: “Leveling is not about regional growth numbers, it’s not about connectivity, it’s not about any of those things, it’s about people.”

“The people it’s most about are people from backgrounds like mine who want to be the next Grand Slam champion but can’t afford private tennis lessons; who want to be the next Daisy Edgar-Jones but whose mum or dad aren’t the head of entertainment at Sky, or they want to be Benedict Cumberbatch but they don’t go to private school.

“I want to go back to those kids and find a way for them into the industry.”