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Labour launches review into BBC’s impartiality and editorial standards

Labour is to launch an independent review regarding the broadcaster’s future, revealed the party’s shadow culture secretary, Lucy Powell MP. 

Speaking on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Powell said “The BBC faces some serious headwinds coming up the track. Its future is constantly under attack, constantly being questioned of how it’s funded in the future. We have seen questions around independence and the impartiality of the BBC.”

It comes following BBC’s star sports presenter Gary Lineker faced suspension from Match of the Day over a tweet critical of the language used by the government to describe asylum seekers which launched an independent review by the BBC of its social media guidelines. Alongside an investigation into the hire of Richard Sharp as BBC chairman following revelations in The Sunday Times that he was involved in helping former PM Boris Johnson receive an £800,000 loan from businessman Sam Blyth before subsequently being recommended for the BBC post.

She added, “In the streaming and social media age we have to look deeply and carefully of what the future is of an organisation of the BBC in the digital and streaming age. And given that the charter and renewal process will be well underway by the time of the next general election, now is the time to put together a really serious panel of people to advise and make recommendations to the Labour party about how the BBC can not just survive in the next few decades but really thrive in the next few decades, because that’s what we want to see.”

The panel organised by Powell will comprise of TV producer Steve Morrison, former BBC director of strategy and former Labour culture secretary James Purnell, TV host June Sarpong and chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Lou Cordwell.

Likely areas of questioning will include the suspension and reinstatement of Gary Lineker on Match of the Day, overarching issues relating to impartiality and editorial standards, as well as any wider issues concerning the BBC.

The meeting will take place at Portcullis House tomorrow (Tuesday 28 March) with the Lord Brit and the Lord Patten of Barnes in attendance. 

Tags: BBC

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