Thank you for contacting me about the BBC Charter Review. I too am a great fan of the BBC, as most people in the UK are, and have valued its output across a range of fields over my lifetime. It is one of the Nation's most important institutions which is recognised internationally as a maker of quality content.

Ten years ago, the last time the Government ran a Charter Review, the media landscape looked very different. The BBC has adapted to this and remains loved by audiences in the UK and around the world.   However, some hard questions need to be asked during this Charter Review such as:

  • What the BBC should be trying to achieve in an age where consumer choice is now far more extensive than it has been;

  • What its scale and scope should be in the light of those aims; how far it affects others in television, radio and online;

  • And what the right structures are for its governance and regulation.

Today, for example, 62 per cent of all programmes accessed online are watched using the BBC's iPlayer, a significant change from a decade ago.   The BBC is a national institution, paid for by the public, and spending more than £30 billion of public money over the current Charter period. The Government recently set out a consultation which marks the start of the Charter Review process and I firmly believe that everyone must be able to have their say on how well they think that money is spent. I am pleased, therefore, that more than 190,000 responses were received to the consultation, which has now closed.

The Secretary of State made comment on the involvement of 38 Degrees. A significant number of the responses to the Consultation were generated by 38 Degrees. That does not mean that they are not valid expressions of opinion, and certainly any correspondence to my office, whether generated via the 38 degrees system or individual, is treated with the same regard.

Once again, thank you for those who have taken the time to contact me about this issue, I will follow its progress with interest.