Mr John Whittingdale
My right hon. Friend will be aware that, last year, the number of TV licences purchased fell by 700,000, and that more and more young people are now saying that they do not need to watch the BBC because of the enormous amount of choice through the streaming services. Does she agree that, even despite that increase in content, we will still need public service broadcasting and the BBC, and therefore it is right to have a debate about the future funding model not to undermine the BBC, but to ensure that it can survive going forward?
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Ms Nadine Dorries
I thank my right hon. Friend, and that was my response to my early question: how do we keep good content—great British content—made in the UK? The BBC is a national institution—how do we maintain the BBC? The question is not: do we or do we not have a BBC? The question is: how do we fund the BBC moving forward? I know my right hon. Friend has made some interventions of his own and has ideas of his own, and I look forward to his furthering those.