Below is the text of the comments made by Chris Matheson, the Shadow Minister for the Media, on 2 July 2020.
While not unexpected, these cuts are still very damaging and unwelcome. Regional news is among the most trusted with some of the highest viewing and listening figures.
Regional investigative journalism, such as Inside Out, have been ground breaking over the last two decades and served a need that cannot be met nationally.
Although some of these cuts have are caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affecting production, the root cause remains the government’s decision to slash BBC funding. We’ve seen £800 million lost so far in this charter period, not to mention the Tories’ broken promise on the over-75s’ free TV licence, where the cost of £250 million was passed to the BBC.
Ministers need to take responsibility and stop hiding behind the BBC management – the government caused these cuts, they should stand up and be counted.