BBC in need of an ‘overhaul’, says Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell. Pic: Press Eye
DUP MP Gregory Campbell. Pic: Press Eye

The reputation of the BBC has been “tarnished” by a lack of transparency, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said during a debate at Westminster.

“Correspondence from MPs goes unanswered,” Mr Campbell said during the debate at Westminster Hall yesterday.

“Questions about the use of public money are ignored or else have a veil of secrecy pulled over them.

“I have concluded that the BBC fat cats in Belfast are either incredibly arrogant or incredibly shifty.”

He continued: “It took a decade for the BBC to be dragged to the point where they published all salaries over £150,000 per year.

“Since then the BBC has indicated that more staff will be moved off the direct payroll thus they will not feature in any published list next year even though they are paid in excess of the £150,000 threshold. So much for greater transparency.”

The East Londonderry MP also spoke about the broadcaster’s commissioning process, saying: “With stories of slow payments, reduced payments and a culture of fear fresh in my mind I started to probe the commissioning process. We need full transparency in BBC commissioning and we need evidence that all BBC Northern Ireland commission contracts are externally audited.”

Mr Campbell called for a radical overhaul of the way the BBC carries out its business.

“The bottom line is that the BBC needs to radically alter the way they carry out their business using our money, that’s the point,” he said

“They are using public money, their procedures need overhauling, transparency is appalling. The case for change was never more apparent than it is now.”

Responding to Mr Campbell’s comments, a spokesperson for the BBC said: “We are committed to a high level of transparency, including around our commissioning processes.”

“We also have to protect the BBC’s editorial independence. Value for money is fundamental to everything that we do.”