Harsh cuts to the BBC’s flagship political channel will see BBC Parliament bring an end to its rolling politics coverage for the first time since the 1960s.
According to a Financial Times report, staffing is also set to take a significant hit, likely to be reduced down to single figures as the BBC looks to save £1 billion by March 2022.
The changes, which will see usual scheduling slashed almost entirely, are expected to be made in autumn this year.
They’re defunding #bbc4, restricting it to repeats and no new programme commissions, and now cutting @BBCParliament— I Am Incorrigible FCA (@ImIncorrigible) July 14, 2021
Either a myopic ignorance about what the BBC is for or a cynical ideological stab at death by 1,000 cuts#SaveTheBBC #r4today #PoliticsLive #PMQs https://t.co/56JsWEMMtL
A number of daily segments are also set to be scrapped in favour of highlights programmes of parliamentary affairs.
The Day and Week in Parliament will be replaced with a new programme, Politics UK, which will be broadcast weekly at noon on Fridays on BBC2.
With a steep reduction in the coverage of the House of Lords and select committees on the horizon, the BBC will also introduce a Friday edition of Politics Live.
Less & less scrutiny was DEFINITELY not what that Tories intended by cutting BBC funding 👀👀 https://t.co/bCEeu7oXiz— Rhys Goode (@rhys_goode) July 14, 2021
“Trust in its impartiality will evaporate”
News of the cuts comes after a BBC director, Sir Robbie Gibb, was found to have blocked the appointment of Jess Brammar as executive news editor at the corporation.
Gibb, a former BBC journalist who has a close connection to No. 10 as former aide to Theresa May, has been accused of stalling the selection process on political grounds
Sources told the Financial Times that Gibb’s texted the BBC’s director for news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth, saying Brammar “cannot make this appointment” last month.
He added the government’s “fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered” if she were chosen.
In advance of the outspoken Brexiteer’s move, Jess Brammar, who was previously head of news at the HuffPost UK, deputy editor of BBC Newsnight and the recipient of a Royal Television Society award, came out on top during the selection process for the job.
The BBC must do two things in response to the Robbie Gibb scandal.— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) July 10, 2021
(1) Proceed with the appointment of preferred candidate @jessbrammar
(2) Sack Robbie Gibb as a non-executive director.
Otherwise any remaining trust in its impartiality will evaporatehttps://t.co/QBRMAbP3yV