Campaign to ‘Defund the BBC’ raises thousands towards a bid to decriminalise non-payment of TV licence


An anti-BBC campaign group that is aiming to drastically reform the BBC’s governance has raised almost £60,000 in donations in less than three months.

The group named ‘Defund the BBC’ was founded by Brexiteers and began crowdfunding in June with the aim to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee.

The group is using the funds to create campaign material including billboards, merchandise and advertisements across social media platforms.


Defund the BBC was founded by James Yucel the 18-year-old treasurer of the University of Glasgow Conservative Association and is widely supported by Brexiteer personalities including Darren Grimes and Calvin Robinson, a former Brexit Party parliamentary candidate.

The corporation is pushing ahead with plans to strip a million over-75s of their free TV licences causing a huge public backlash against the corporation’s decision.

Just recently the BBC highlighted pay rises given to Zoe Ball, who has lost nearly a million listeners, and Lauren Laverne who hosts Desert Island Discs.

Image source: Daily Mail

Despite losing a million views Zoe Ball has become the BBC’s highest-paid presenter after she was handed a £1 million pay rise and Gary Lineker accepted a pay cut.

Ball’s salary rose by 268 per cent when she took over the Radio 2 breakfast show – from £370,000 to £1.36 million.

Defund the BBC’s Head of Press Liam Deacon told talkRADIO: “You might say this is because of a good instinct to correct this gender pay gap but really I think this is actually symptomatic of a structural fundamental problem with the BBC that pay and money is not tied to performance in the same way that it would be in business.

“The BBC is using our money in a really grotesque way.”

BBC director-general Tim Davie defended Ball’s huge pay rise after she shed nearly a million listeners in the first year in her new role, saying it was a ‘punchy’ market.

“Zoe is absolutely a broadcaster at the top of her game. She’s delivering over eight million listeners,” he continued. “I think we’re getting incredible value.”

The campaign’s Twitter account attracted 25,000 followers on the first day and its following now sits at 96,000.

The crowdfunding campaign, which has a target of £100,000, has received more than £57,000 from 2,700 donors since June.

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