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BBC chief to step down amid funding debate

The head of the British national broadcaster, the BBC, on Monday said he plans to step down this summer, suggesting a new leader is needed as the broadcaster fights to retain its public funding.

“The BBC faces another review in 2022 of its charter and funding, which are secure until 2027,’’ Tony Hall, the BBC Director-General, said in a statement.

Hall noted it must be right that the BBC has one person to lead it through both stages.

Criticism of the broadcaster’s programmes and news coverage has increased since Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016.

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Politicians on both sides of the Brexit debate accused the BBC of bias before a snap election in December.

Hall, 68, said the BBC’s values “have never been more relevant to the society we live in”.

“As our country enters its next chapter it needs a strong BBC, a BBC that can champion the nation’s creativity at home and abroad, and help play its part in bringing the UK together.

“In an era of fake news, we remain the gold standard of impartiality and truth,’’ he said.

Lawmakers from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party have accused the public service broadcaster of left-wing bias and poor use of its funding, which comes through television licence fees. (NAN)