The MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr has called for a permanent Welsh member to sit on the Board of the BBC’s external regulator, Ofcom, to ensure the broadcaster is held accountable over its service for Welsh audiences.
Responding to a UK Government statement on the BBC, Mr Edwards highlighted the conclusions of a report by the BBC’s Audience Council for Wales, which calls for the BBC to be more accountable to Welsh audiences, and called on the Government to commit to ensuring a Welsh member will sit on the Board of Ofcom for as long as it performs the role of the BBC’s external regulator.
Commenting, Plaid Cymru MP, Jonathan Edwards, said:
“The BBC has a central role in Welsh public life. It is the main medium through which the public are kept informed on matters of importance, be it cultural, political or otherwise.
“As a public service broadcaster, the BBC must be held accountable to those it is there to serve, and that includes the people of Wales.
“Welsh public life is naturally very different to that of other UK countries and the BBC must recognise, respect and reflect those differences in its output. Our unique position within this group of nations as a fully bilingual country brings its own challenges, as does our increasingly divergent political picture.
“The BBC, as a public service broadcaster, has a crucial role in ensuring the public is well informed and its current failures to adequately reflect the political divergence within the British State has undoubtedly contributed to widespread misinformation about which government and which Parliament is responsible for different areas of public policy.
“Adapting to these differences across national borders must be a priority for the broadcaster and it is essential that it is held accountable by the external regulator on its progress.
“If Ofcom is to be charged with performing the role of external auditor, the UK Government needs to commit in the very least that there should be a permanent member on the Board representing Welsh interests.”