BBC licence fee ‘needs to go’ fumes Rees-Mogg

‘Bring back Gary Lineker’ BBC News heckled during live report

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Last week, BBC presenter Gary Lineker shared his thoughts on the government’s new migration policy on Twitter as he described the Conservative Party’s plan to stop illegal immigrants as “beyond awful”. It wasn’t long before the 62-year-old came under fire for appearing to break the BBC’s impartiality rule. Now, MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has stated if the broadcaster wasn’t funded by taxpayers, impartiality wouldn’t be an issue and he called for an end to it.

Unimpressed with Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s asylum policy, Lineker compared the language used in her announcement about the migrant policy to Nazi Germany.

Although there were some people who criticised Lineker for breaking the BBC’s rule on speaking out about political matters, many supported the star who claimed he had a right to voice his thoughts due to freedom of speech.

On Friday, the BBC decided Lineker wouldn’t present Match of the Day, which resulted in some of his colleagues standing down from their duties in solidarity.

However, in a recent turn of events the BBC has since apologised to the presenter and confirmed he’ll return to Match of the Day as usual.

Speaking about the broadcaster back tracking on their decision to suspend Lineker, Rees-Mogg told GB News he wasn’t surprised.

He said: “I think the issue is about the BBC rather than about Gary Lineker’s view.

“He’s entitled to have any view he wants, we are all in favour of freedom of speech and people being allowed to say things that we don’t agree with, or we may even find offensive, and that’s actually fine.

“He can say what he likes. The issue is that the BBC is the state broadcaster and that it’s funded by a tax on televisions. If it weren’t, then we wouldn’t need to worry about its impartiality.”

The former MP highlighted that if the BBC changed its funding mechanism, there would be a much freer sense of media similar to the United States.

He continued: “I think that would be much better rather than this pretence that the BBC is impartial, which it isn’t, and then having rows about particular presenters.”

When the topic got onto the BBC’s licensing fee, Rees-Mogg told Bev Turner and Andrew Pierce he believes it adds a constraint on the broadcaster.

“It stops it earning revenues by subscriptions on the iPlayer, or by taking advertising,” Rees-Mogg added.

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The GB News guest continued: “It leads to a heavily regulated media based around what the BBC needs and what is needed for a State-funded channel.

“And so, yes, I’m saying the licence fee has passed its sell-by date and it needs to go.”

Rees-Mogg confessed he wouldn’t pay a licence fee if it was no longer needed as he told the presenters there are multiple different ways of watching recorded programmes now.

When asked if he believes the BBC was right to suspend Gary last week, Rees-Mogg commented: “I think Lineker is a distraction.

“The overall picture of the licence fee, and I think those of us broadly on the right have to be very, very careful about attacking people for freedom of speech, so I’m not fussed about what he says.

“I’m not fussed about his contract, I’m fussed about the fact that the BBC is not an impartial broadcaster but it’s funded by all of us and that’s the fundamental issue.”

“I don’t understand why he doesn’t stand for Parliament. He’s highly articulate.”

GB News is a 24-hour rolling news channel that can be viewed on all major UK platforms including Freeview, YouView, Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat.

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