Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Durkan signs Brand-Ross motion

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross
Mark Durkan says licence fee payers should not fund Brand and Ross

Foyle MP Mark Durkan has signed a commons motion calling for Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to no longer be funded by the licence fee.

Mr Durkan is one of 15 MPs who signed a motion describing the presenters' behaviour as "base and vulgar".

Brand and Ross made a series of prank calls on Radio 2 to actor Andrew Sachs, 78, about his granddaughter.

The BBC has taken Brand and Ross's shows off air pending a full investigation.

Mr Durkan said he thought the presenters actions were "crass and crude".

"I also think it was downright insensitive to then make a joke about somebody potentially committing suicide," he said.

"The BBC should have acted decisively, but more importantly these two presenters should have acted decisively themselves.

"Rather than offering half-baked apologies they should have made a clear and straightforward gesture by either renouncing some of their own salary, or offering a very significant donation to relevant charities.

"This could have included charities dealing with the issue of suicide awareness and prevention."

More than 18,000 people complained to the BBC about the incident.

The motion was tabled by Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay and his Conservative counterpart Nigel Evans.

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Telegraph PM demands BBC acts over Brand-Ross prank - 29 hrs ago
Mid Sussex Today Sack cruel DJs, says granddaughter The granddaughter of Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs has called for Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to be sacked for their lewd phone calls. - 30 hrs ago
Press Association Sack 'cruel' DJs says granddaughter - 30 hrs ago
Telegraph Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand: Gordon Brown demands action from BBC - 30 hrs ago
Sky News 'Obscene' Calls: BBC Under Fire - 30 hrs ago

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