CULTURE Secretary Nadine Dorries yesterday ordered the BBC to get out of its elitist “London bubble”.
She confirmed she is freezing the £159 licence fee for two years — and wants to wean the Beeb off it altogether by 2027.
And she said failing to pay should no longer be a criminal offence, telling the Commons that struggling families should not be “threatened with bailiffs at the door”.
She added: “It’s time to start asking those really serious questions about the long-term funding model of the BBC.
“We need a BBC that is forward-looking and ready to meet the challenges of modern broadcasting, a BBC that can continue to engage the British public and that commands support from across the breadth of the UK, not just the London bubble.”
She was roared on by Tory MPs, with Culture select committee chairman Julian Knight saying the cost “may not be much to presenters like Gary Lineker, but it’s a lot to constituents like ours”.
“Red Waller” Jonathan Gullis said his constituents “feel the BBC has spoken down to them when they voted for Brexit and think it is out of touch”.
He agreed: “It is time they got out of the Metropolitan bubble.”
The DUP’s Sammy Wilson called the licence fee a “poll tax” and said it was “high time” it was ditched.
But Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell insisted it was “incredibly cheap” for what it offers families.
Last night BBC bosses said they were disappointed by the freezing of the fee.