Immediate: Tuesday 31st January 2005

Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659


The Government has today published its response to the House of Lords Select Committee on BBC Charter Review's first report.

The response deals with the Committee's recommendations regarding the constitution, governance and funding of the BBC. Lord Fowler, Chairman of the Committee labelled the response "Deeply Disappointing" as it failed to accept proposals for the BBC to be established by statute which would ensure proper Parliamentary scrutiny of the Corporation. 

Lord Fowler, said:

"This is a deeply disappointing response - although not unexpected.

"We will address some of the points made by the Secretary of State in our later reports. One point however is fundamental. Select Committees in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords have now argued that the BBC should be established by statute so that its constitution is subject to proper Parliamentary scrutiny.

"This has been rejected by the Government. The result is that the arrangements for the BBC over the next ten years will be settled in a deal between the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the BBC.

"The Government supports the continuation of the Royal Charter because they control it. This does not secure the independence of the BBC and is no way to ensure the proper oversight of nearly £3 billion a year of the public's money the corporation receives"


Notes to Editors       

  1. The Select Committee report published on 1 November 2005 can be found at:

  2. The Government's response published today can be found at: