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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Plaid MP's BBC licence fee threat
Adam Price
Adam Price says BBC network news does not do Wales justice
A Plaid MP has threatened to withhold part of his BBC licence fee saying there is not enough BBC coverage of Wales on news programmes across the UK.

Adam Price said Wales was "blanked off the screens" because the nation "does not figure" on BBC TV's network news.

Mr Price said viewers in Wales were not getting the comprehensive television news service English viewers enjoyed.

A BBC spokesperson said it continued to listen to audiences to ensure coverage reflected the UK nations and regions.

Network editors say that Wales is a switch off - that their viewers and listeners aren't interested
Adam Price

In a BBC radio interview, Mr Price said that the number of stories on BBC One's Six and Ten O'Clock News programmes over a year was "minuscule".

He said that the different health and education systems which had developed from devolution were not "anywhere near adequately reflected by the kind of news that we're served up by the BBC network".

"The 10 weeks of high drama that we had with the coalition discussions (after the Welsh assembly election) didn't figure hardly at all on the network," he said.

"If you speak to them privately network editors say that Wales is a switch off - that their viewers and listeners aren't interested in Wales and therefore they're not going to put it up on the news."

Mr Price maintained his threat not to pay the full licence fee was genuine, but that he had already bought licences for his London and constituency homes and so any illegal action was not imminent.

The MP added he was not criticising BBC Wales, which he said "does an excellent job".

As ever the BBC continues to listen to its audiences to ensure that it provides news which reflects the UK's nations and regions
BBC spokesperson

Mr Price's criticisms of the BBC follow years of debate, particularly in Scotland, over the possibility of the nations of the UK having their own version of the Six O'Clock News.

SNP First Minister in Holyrood Alex Salmond wants responsibility for broadcasting in Scotland transferred to Edinburgh.

Backing Mr Price's complaints, Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins called for the Welsh assembly to be put in charge of broadcasting in Wales.

She argued the BBC "continues to live in pre-devolution Wales".

A BBC network spokesperson said: "We note Mr Price's comments with interest.

"As ever the BBC continues to listen to its audiences to ensure that it provides news which reflects the UK's nations and regions."


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