Minister tells BBC to halt its expansion

CULTURE Secretary Ben Bradshaw yesterday hit out at the BBC, saying its dramatic expansion needed to be stopped and its governing body should be reformed. <br /><br />Speaking at the Royal Television Society&rsquo;s biennial conference in Cambridge, Bradshaw said the &pound;5bn state-funded broadcaster had &ldquo;probably reached the limits of expansion&rdquo; and suggested its &ldquo;multimedia empire&rdquo; should be smaller. <br /><br />He also said the BBC&rsquo;s governing body, the BBC Trust, should be scrapped, saying it was not a &ldquo;sustainable model&rdquo;.<br /><br />&nbsp;&ldquo;I know of no other area of public life where &ndash; as is the case with the Trust &ndash; the same body is both regulator and cheerleader,&rdquo; he added. <br /><br />And Bradshaw applauded News Corp Europe and Asia chief executive James Murdoch for &ldquo;raising genuine concerns&rdquo; in a speech at the Edinburgh Television Festival last month. <br /><br />He said: &ldquo;Murdoch was right to raise questions about the BBC&rsquo;s size, its remit and its impact on the rest of the British media industry.&rdquo;<br /><br />Bradshaw added that there could be a case for a &ldquo;smaller licence fee&rdquo; in the future. <br />