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HomeBBC WatchWarning to the BBC: You can’t gag TCW 

Warning to the BBC: You can’t gag TCW 

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THE BBC gets very righteous and uppity when it’s dishing out the criticism – but doesn’t like it when it’s on the receiving end.  

A classic example came my way on Monday with a message from TV Licensing about a TCW Defending Freedom blog. Basically, it was asking me to ‘censor’ a sentence they didn’t like.  

I wrote back to BBC Director-General Tim Davie and here I’m publishing my reply to him as an open letter. The contents are self-explanatory … 

Dear Mr Davie, 

I am the editor and proprietor of the website TCW Defending Freedom, which registers between 1million and 1.4million page impressions a month. 

On Monday of this week, we published a blog about Justin Trudeau’s use of emergency powers to end the protest in Ottawa by Canadian truckers. 

It contained the following paragraph: ‘For example, violent Black Lives Matter protesters have been free to run riot in the US, while peaceful pro-Trump supporters have been arrested. In the UK, minimal, even helpful, action was taken against disruptive Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain protesters, while single mothers are jailed for not having paid their TV licence fee. Unvaccinated citizens are penalised and scapegoated everywhere, while illegal unvaccinated boat immigrants are rescued by coastguards and the RNLI and welcomed generously into society.’ 

To my surprise, I received an email later that day from Alex Skirvin alexander.skirvin@bbc.co.uk in which he stated: ‘I am getting in touch from TV Licensing regarding your recent piece, ‘Iron fist for the truckers, velvet glove for eco-terrorists.’  

‘The piece states: “In the UK, minimal, even helpful, action was taken against disruptive Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain protesters, while single mothers are jailed for not having paid their TV licence fee.”  

‘This is inaccurate. Nobody is imprisoned for non-payment of the licence fee – the maximum sentence is a fine which may be imposed by a court.  

‘If a court fine isn’t paid this is a separate matter, a custodial sentence may be imposed, but that is entirely a matter for the courts.  In 2020, there were no admissions into prison associated with failing to pay a fine in respect of the non-payment of a TV licence in England and Wales. To ensure readers are correctly informed, please could you update the piece?’ 

I would like to ask you the two following questions: 

Was this an authorised communication from BBC licensing? 

Is it now the BBC’s official view that no one is jailed in consequence of non-payment of the licence fee?  

Technically, of course, a custodial sentence is the consequence of non-payment of a fine imposed because of evasion of the licence fee. But the fact remains that the root cause of such a sentence – the sine qua non – is because offenders have not paid their licence fee. 

In all the circumstances, I do not regard what our columnist wrote to be inaccurate, and I would also like an apology for being approached in this unprofessional and rather disrespectful way. 

We are publishing this as an open letter on the TCW Defending Freedom website tomorrow. 

Yours sincerely, 

Kathy Gyngell 

Editor, TCW Defending Freedom

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngellhttps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/the-editors/
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @KathyConWom on Twitter.

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