Government should have no role in running of BBC World Service, says John Birt

The Guardian | December 18, 2014

John Birt, the former director general of the BBC, has said the government should no longer have any say in the running of the World Service after its funding was taken over by the BBC.

Birt said it was a “nonsense” that the Foreign Office still had a role in the running of the global broadcaster and said it should be “taken out of the equation”.

He said he was “uncomfortable” with the funding switch to the BBC, which took place in April this year as part of the 2010 licence fee settlement.

Birt described the 2010 deal as a “piece of skulduggery” and said the issue should be a key strand in the charter renewal negotiations beginning next year.

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