Speaking to a group of trainee journalists and students hoping to have careers in the media industry at a gathering in his constituency of Birmingham Hall Green, Roger said that, “sadly”, the Trust which oversees the BBC had been found wanting and was no longer fit for purpose.
Roger said: “The BBC is one of the most important strands of the cultural life of our country, but the controversy which has erupted over massive pay-offs to senior BBC executives, including over £1 million to the former Director General Mark Byford, could not be justified under any circumstances. This is particularly the case as these people were only doing their jobs, for which they were already extremely well paid compared with the majority of workers in other jobs.
“The sickening and unedifying squabble and buck-passing which occurred when Lord Patten, Sir Michael Lyons, Mark Thompson and other senior executives appeared before the recent Public Accounts Committee was shameful. Anybody watching the proceedings was given the very clear impression of a bunch of privileged people helping themselves to whatever they could get out of the licence-fee pot, in much the same way that those at the top of the banking industry behaved in the run-up to the financial crash in 2008.”
Roger continued: “The BBC has an outstanding worldwide reputation. These people, through their greedy, money-grabbing behaviour, have devalued the reputation of the institution, while the BBC Trust seemed incapable of providing the overall control, on behalf of the public, which their Charter obligations place on them. There have to be changes, and the sooner they happen the better.”