Boris Johnson has ordered his aides to launch an “urgent” review into decriminalising the BBC licence fee in the wake of his election trimph.
No 10 been engaged in a bitter stand-off with the public broadcaster over its alleged pro-Remain bias in its election coverage.
The Prime Minister has now tasked his closest aides with drawing up a full-scale review of the much-hated mandatory £154.50 charge.
He is even looking into consulting on whether or not people who do not pay for watching TV or the BBC’s iPlayer service should be prosecuted.
The move comes after Downing Street refused to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme due to what they believe is its pro-Remain bias.
Last financial year, 25.8 million households had TV licences bringing in £3.6 billion to the BBC.
A review may recommend replacing the existing criminal sanctions for non-payment of the TV licence fee with a civil system of fines, according to the Telegraph.
In the run-up to the General Election, Boris Johnson said while the we are currently “not planning to get rid of all TV licence fees”, the current system “bears reflection”.
“I think that the system of funding by what is effectively a general tax, isn’t it, everybody has a TV, it bears reflection – let me put it that way,” he said.”How long can you justify a system whereby everybody who has a TV has to pay to fund a particular set of TV and radio channels – that is the question.”
At the moment anyone watching TV live or on iPlayer or ITV Player has to pay for a licence to do so.