Belfast Telegraph

RTE London bureau to shut down

Irish and British politicians have raised concerns over the closure of RTE's London bureau.

Members of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly met in Dublin where they said the closure this September could have long-term consequences for the Irish community.

Paul Murphy MP called for parliamentarians to urge the two governments to try to keep the bureau open.

In a motion put forward at the assembly's 44th plenary session, politicians said they believed that on-the-spot access for Irish-based media and engagement in public life in Britain supports the fulfilment of the vision of future relations between the two countries.

The assembly said it noted that a fall in revenue had made it difficult for the state broadcaster to keep the London bureau.

RTE decided to close the office as part of a drive to save millions.

The broadcaster is in the middle of a major cost-cutting programme with 200 jobs cut last year while it is also trying to reduce a deficit of 50 million euro for this year.

Politicians at the assembly also paid tribute to what they described as "the illustrious record of service provided by the bureau and its staff in keeping viewers informed about British economic, political and cultural life, contributing to the peaceful resolution of conflict and promoting increasingly close relations".

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