BBC Radio 3 has come in for criticism at Westminster by a long-time listener and Tory peer who complained it has become “infected by a sort of relentless wokeness”.
Lord Moylan, who served as an adviser to Boris Johnson when he was London mayor, levelled the charge at the classical station as the House of Lords discussed the future of public service broadcasting and the challenges it faces from streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
His comments came as some Conservatives in Parliament were accused of being “Neanderthals” in relation to the creative industries.
In recent years it (Radio 3) has been infected by a sort of relentless wokeness, which I think is a sort of tendency of public service broadcastingLord Moylan
The Government has previously been accused of seeking to undermine public service broadcasting (PSB), with questions raised over the future of the BBC licence fee.
Referring to the jibe, Tory peer Lord Moylan said: “In my Neanderthal fashion I have found that BBC Radio 3 has been the mainstay of my life for nearly 50 years and it’s a fine example of public service broadcasting.
“But in recent years it has been infected by a sort of relentless wokeness, which I think is a sort of tendency of public service broadcasting.
“So, while the minister is promoting the prominence of PSB, will she also tell us what she is going to do to try to ensure it meets a broader spectrum of cultural views across the country?”
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister Baroness Barran said: “As he will know, the BBC is editorially independent so its decisions in relation to Radio 3 rest with them.”
We absolutely recognise the importance of the investment in our creative industries of over £2.5 billion a year Baroness Barran
Earlier, Liberal Democrat peer Lord McNally said: “Will the minister explain to some of the Neanderthals on her own benches, in both Houses, that support for public service broadcasting includes giving stimulation to our creative industries and giving voice to our national and regional identities in ways that the big international providers never will?”
Lady Barran said: “I have to say I don’t recognise the description he makes of my friends behind me or in the other place.”
She added: “We absolutely recognise the importance of the investment in our creative industries of over £2.5 billion a year and we welcome that and the ecosystem it creates.”