Licence fee being ‘very closely’ considered by ministers – as Gary Lineker’s demands for impartial chair are snubbed

PLEASE NOTE TV LICENCE NUMBER HAS BEEN REMOVED BY PA PICTURE DESK File photo dated 25/03/14 of a TV licence. More pensioners are at risk from a "bonanza" of fraud following the decision to scrap universal free TV licences for the over-75s, according to new research. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday September 27, 2019. The BBC announced earlier this year that it would means-test licence fees for the elderly. See PA story MEDIA Licence. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

MINISTERS are “looking very closely” at the BBC licence fee – and have snubbed Gary Lineker’s demands for the next chair to be picked impartially.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer today warned broadcaster bosses will not be able to solely rely on the controversial telly tax forever.

Ministers are looking “very closely” at the BBC licence fee

Gary Lineker’s demands for an impartial chair have been snubbed

Instead her review into the Corporation’s money is considering “a variety of sources for its funding” besides the £159 annual charge.

She told the BBC: “I’d like to ensure the BBC is properly funded. The licence fee isn’t the only way.”

Ms Frazer also dismissed calls for the next BBC chairman to be politically impartial following the saga over Richard Sharp’s resignation.

Mr Sharp quit after a probe found he breached rules by failing to declare his role in an £800,000 loan for Boris Johnson. 

After the furore, Match Of The Day host Lineker said: “The BBC chairman should not be selected by the government of the day. Not now, not ever.”

But Ms Frazer insisted the decision would be made by Rishi Sunak – and could even be a political appointment.

She said: “I strongly believe that we should not disqualify people from public office who put themselves forward, who are capable of doing the job, because they happen to have in the past supported a political party.”

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