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BBC to undergo major overhaul as Tories seek more control

London, May 12 (IANS) Britain’s state broadcaster BBC will undergo a massive Tory shakeup that will see its governing Trust disbanded and replaced with a “unitary board of governors”, at least half of which will be government-appointed.

The overhaul will make the BBC more “accountable to its listeners”, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, said in a statement.

However, Shadow Culture Secretary Maria Eagle, according to RT online, said the reforms could be seen as a way of exerting government control over the broadcaster.

The BBC’s new charter will create a unitary board of 12-14 members, at least half of which will be appointed by the BBC. The remaining board members, however, will be appointed by the government.

“For the first time, the BBC can appoint a majority of its board independent of government,” said Whittingdale.

He also announced that state-run regulator Ofcom will be appointed as the broadcaster’s external regulator.

Labour MP Eagle accused Whittingdale of being “hostile” to the BBC.

“The government is seeking to unduly influence the output and editorial decisions of the BBC,” she told Parliament.

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