Solihull MP Julian Knight to chair culture committee - The Solihull Observer

Solihull MP Julian Knight to chair culture committee

Solihull Editorial 31st Jan, 2020   0

Julian Knight MP was elected chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in a ballot of fellow MPs.

Mr Knight, a former consumer affairs reporter for the BBC, pledged to ‘act as a critical friend’ to the broadcaster.

Following his election he said: ““I’m delighted to have secured the support of the House to lead the DCMS Committee in this new Parliament. Having served as one of its members for three years, I plan to build on what we achieved and take on issues that matter beyond Westminster.

“Under my chairmanship I’m setting out three priorities which I’ll be putting to new Members for discussion and approval.

“The Government has committed to getting broadband done. I’d like to see the DCMS Committee calling in the bosses of internet providers and holding them to account for the failures in their services that blight communities across the country. Warm words wouldn’t be enough – we’d get them back three months down the line and ask what they’ve done.

“The BBC marks its centenary two years from now, although its future is far from assured. As we head towards the midpoint of the Charter, I want to start an open conversation about how the BBC can be funded, to act as a ‘critical friend’ with a duty to ask difficult questions of the Corporation as it seeks a new and sustainable funding model.

“I am keen that the DCMS Committee looks again at online harms, particularly as we head towards statutory regulation. In the last parliament we considered the addictive nature of immersive technologies and our dependency on social media. We need to make sure that dangers are properly understood and protections put in place.”

Julian Knight takes the chairmanship from incumbent Damian Collins MP, also a Conservative.

The DCMS committee is set to start a review of the BBC’s funding model in this parliament, potentially leading to the licence fee being scrapped.

In a tweet, Mr Knight said “Delighted to have been elected chair of the CommonsCMS lots of issues for the committee, once properly constituted, to tackle. I also wish to put on record my gratitude to former chair Damian Collins who has worked tirelessly in the role over the past few years”.

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