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Mail Online: BBC Radio 3 is accused of becoming 'infected by relentless wokeness' by Tory peer

Reposted from Mail Online, 9th December 2020. A link to the article can also be found here

By William Cole

BBC Radio 3 has become 'infected by a sort of relentless wokeness', a Tory peer who las listened to the station for half a century has claimed

Lord Moylan, who served as an adviser to Boris Johnson when he was London mayor, levelled the charge at the classical station as the House of Lords discussed the future of public service broadcasting and the challenges it faces from streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

His comments came as some Conservatives in Parliament were accused of being 'Neanderthals' in relation to the creative industries.

The Government has previously been accused of seeking to undermine public service broadcasting (PSB), with questions raised over the future of the BBC licence fee.

Referring to the jibe, Tory peer Lord Moylan said: 'In my Neanderthal fashion I have found that BBC Radio 3 has been the mainstay of my life for nearly 50 years and it's a fine example of public service broadcasting.

'But in recent years it has been infected by a sort of relentless wokeness, which I think is a sort of tendency of public service broadcasting.

'So, while the minister is promoting the prominence of PSB, will she also tell us what she is going to do to try to ensure it meets a broader spectrum of cultural views across the country?'

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister Baroness Barran said: 'As he will know, the BBC is editorially independent so its decisions in relation to Radio 3 rest with them.'

Lord Moylan could not be contacted to explain what aspects of stations he was referring to.

Earlier, Liberal Democrat peer Lord McNally said: 'Will the minister explain to some of the Neanderthals on her own benches, in both Houses, that support for public service broadcasting includes giving stimulation to our creative industries and giving voice to our national and regional identities in ways that the big international providers never will?'

Lady Barran said: 'I have to say I don't recognise the description he makes of my friends behind me or in the other place.'

She added: 'We absolutely recognise the importance of the investment in our creative industries of over £2.5 billion a year and we welcome that and the ecosystem it creates.'

The BBC has recently revealed plans to increase staff diversity and improve the portrayal of under-represented groups on screen.

Staff will be given a language guide to help them avoid offending viewers and listeners.

A new panel, including external members, is being created to help the corporation ensure it gives an authentic portrayal of disability.

There will also be investment in programmes aimed at progressing the careers of diverse talent, on and off screen.

Director-general Tim Davie said the initiative was ‘mission-critical’ and decisions about the use of language needed to be made by ‘a diverse group of people’.

Mr Davie has also previously said the broadcaster must achieve diversity targets for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees of 20 per cent and a 12 per cent representation for disability in the workforce.

A gender balance target of 50:50 was already in place.

The BBC has committed to spending £100million of its commissioning budget from April 2021 on diverse programming.

It was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over the summer after it initially defended the use of the N-word by a presenter is a news report about a racially aggravated attack in Bristol.

The use of the racist slur by social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin sparked more than 18,500 complaints and the then director-general Tony Hall later apologised.

Days later, the BBC had 417 complaints over the use of the word by historian Lucy Worsley on a programme about Abraham Lincoln.

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