As the BBC Charter renewal was debated in the Commons, Tory diversity champion Helen Grant MP ratchetted up the pressure to deliver a truly diverse future at the BBC.
In a speech described by Labour opposition MP Helen Goodman as “characteristically powerful”, Mrs Grant set out a list of requests for the Secretary of State, her Minister and OFCOM to plug the gaps in the Charter and the Agreement; whilst stressing in her speech, transparency drives diversity.
The MP for Maidstone & The Weald noted the Department for Culture, Media and Sport had published helpful information sheets on a large number of policy areas. However the department has failed to produce a comprehensive document setting out the diversity and equal opportunities processes. Mrs Grant pressed for such a comparable document from the Secretary of State and her Ministers to be published as soon as possible.
Helen also asked for the Secretary of State to confirm that the diversity recruitment provisions, would apply equally to off-screen and on-screen personnel, from all suppliers both internally and third party contractors. This is to reflect the fact that the Draft Charter states, the BBC must ensure it reflects the diverse communities of the whole of the United Kingdom.
Mrs Grant further pressed for the BCC to make the public aware of their arrangements to achieve equal opportunities in relation to disability, race and sex and for the Secretary of State to pay special attention to the word “effectiveness”, used in the Draft Charter, to ensure the process delivers effective action.