BBC must disclose its £22m-plus interest in Britain’s continued membership of the EU
UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP has today written to Lord Hall, Director-General of the BBC, pointing out that the corporation does not disclose in its coverage of the EU the tens of millions of pounds which it receives from the European Commission: “An examination of the European Commission’s website discloses that between 2007 and 2013 the BBC received €30.2m, approximately £22.1m, from the commission. Millions more have been paid since.”
“The debate on the referendum of Britain’s membership of the EU is clearly one in which the BBC has a duty to observe impartiality in its coverage. I am concerned however that the BBC, should it continue on present form, will fail in this duty.”
He went onto say: “There are too many examples of the failure of the BBC to disclose to their audience the financial links between those being interviewed and the largesse of the EU institutions.”
In particular, the UKIP deputy leader is concerned about the large number of representatives of universities, trade and industrial organisations which receive millions in funding from the EU and are invited by the BBC to broadcast their support for the UK’s continued membership, yet whose payments from the EU are not disclosed.
“There is also the conflict of interest of BBC contributors who have been either European Commissioners or who have in the past been employed by one of the EU institutions. The EU pension rules state that if anyone in receipt of a pension fails to demonstrate loyalty to the EU can be ‘deprived of his right to a pension or other benefits.”