Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Written Evidence

Letter from Gerald Howarth MP, Shadow Defence Minister

  I understand that your Committee is intending to conduct a short inquiry into specific areas of the BBC including religious broadcasting.

  I should like to place on record my own view that it is extremely important for the BBC to continue to give the bulk of its coverage to the Christian faith, given that Britain remains overwhelmingly a Christian country and the Sovereign Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Furthermore, I hope that the Committee will consider whether in the light of the Jerry Springer—The Opera episode, the BBC is meeting its obligation not to offend against good taste.

  Your Committee might like to consider the inscription in the entrance hall of the BBC's Headquarters at Broadcasting House. It is as follows:

    "Almighty God, This shrine of the Arts, Music and Literature is dedicated by the first Governors in the year of Our Lord 1931, John Reith being the Director General. It is their prayer that good seed sown will produce a good harvest, "that everything offensive to decency and hostile to peace will be expelled and that the nation will incline its ear to those things which are lovely, pure and of good report and thus pursue the path of wisdom and virtue".

11 August 2005

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