The BBC may not exist in a decade’s time, the new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has suggested as she took aim at its “elitist” approach and “lack of impartiality.”
Nadine Dorries insisted she did not want a “war” with the broadcaster but suggested it would have to set out how it will change before the next licence fee settlement, which covers the five years from April 2022.
At a Conservative Party conference fringe event she admitted “I don’t know” if the broadcaster will even survive in 10 years’ time in the face of competition from new players such as Netflix.
Ms Dorries, who went from a working-class background in Liverpool to become a bestselling author and Cabinet minister, hit out at 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 was asked whether the licence fee would still be compulsory in 10 or 20 years.
Ms Dorries, who has only been in her role since September’s reshuffle, said she had “an interesting meeting” with BBC director-general Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharp.
Ms Dorries highlighted a series of issues she had with the broadcaster, including a lack of working-class diversity and perceived political bias. She said:
She said there was a “groupthink” at the corporation which “excludes working-class backgrounds”.
Asked how to address that, she said:
Ms Dorries told the event the path from a poor background to the top of a career in the arts or media had “completely disappeared”.
The Culture Secretary dismissed suggestions that a woman should replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.
And she said her favourite author as a child was the “very un-PC” Enid Blyton.
Blyton has been criticised for racism and xenophobia in her books, but Ms Dorries said they should not be censored: