Grahame Morris MP has signed a letter to the Director General of the BBC, in which MPs raise concerns about the Sunday Politics Live programme, the future of which is currently ‘under review’.
A date is yet to be confirmed for when Sunday Politics Live will resume broadcasting. The BBC is reported to be cutting its regional news output across the country. The broadcaster has previously said that it will need to make £125m of spending cuts, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the letter, MPs outline the importance of regional political programming, stating that ‘BBC Sunday Politics has consistently provided a platform for MPs, councillors, and candidates to highlight issues and debate ideas, within a regional context. It is essential the BBC guarantee such a platform exists in regional programming. Regional political reporting is vital to people living outside London.’
The Guardian has recently reported that the future of the Inside Out series of investigative programmes is also in question.
The North East has been identified as the region with the highest coronavirus death rate in the UK. Cutting regional political broadcasting at this time will remove the forum in which local issues can be addressed.
Grahame Morris MP said, “I am deeply concerned about the reports of cuts to BBC regional political programming, as regional reporting and broadcasting is more important than ever. It has been vital in providing comprehensive coverage of the crisis that we have faced in recent weeks, and will remain so as the long-term effects of the pandemic are realised.”