‘Save our BBC’: New petition gets 108,000 signatures after Downing Street ‘vows to abolish licence fee’

Famous supporter includes ‘His Dark Materials’ author Philip Pullman

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 17 February 2020 12:51 GMT
His Dark Materials - trailer

A petition to save the BBC has received more than 100,000 signatures just one day after reports said Downing Street was planing to scrap the BBC licence fee and replace it with a Netflix-style subscription model.

Senior aides to the prime minister allegedly told the Sunday Times that the corporation would be forced to sell off most of its radio stations and scale back its website and TV channels.

“We are not bluffing on the licence fee,” the source was reported as saying. “It has to be a subscription model.”

The 38 Degrees Petition has attracted signatures from worried television viewers, including author Philip Pullman, whose His Dark Materials books were adapted into a BBC series in 2019.

It said the BBC, which is described as a “world-leading public service”, needs to be protected from the reported “political attack”.

Before the general election, Boris Johnson admitted he was ”looking at” abolishing the licence fee.

He was also said to be considering the decriminalisation of non-payment of the annual charge.

The current royal charter – which sets out the governance of the BBC – runs until December 2027.

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