'Defund the BBC' campaign raises £60,000 in donations as it urges viewers to cancel TV licences over Brexit coverage

A 'DEFUND the BBC' campaign has raised £60,000 in donations after urging viewers to cancel TV licences over Brexit coverage.

The group is being led by Rebecca Ryan, 43, who previously ran the #StandUp4Brexit campaign.

She said anger over the Beeb's Brexit coverage and recent reporting on Black Lives Matter protests – in which a demonstration where 27 London police officers were injured was called 'largely peaceful' – had seen a surge in crowdfunding donations.

Rebecca Ryan told The Times: "For the last four years the Brexiteers have been portrayed by the BBC as being thick, racist and old.

“It is difficult to explain to people who didn’t support Brexit how it actually feels to be forced to pay for something on fear of imprisonment only to be repeatedly portrayed in that way.

"It’s a deep, deep injustice.”

A 'Defund The BBC' Twitter account launched in June attracted 40,000 followers in 48 hours.

Leaders say the group has three main aims – to show viewers how they can legally cancel their TV licences, to call for the decriminalising of non-payment and to lobby for the licence fee to be reduced at the BBC's mid-charter review in 2022.

The existence of the licence fee – which is currently £157.50 a year – is guaranteed until at least 2027.

The campaign, fronted by Brexit campaigners Darren Grimes and Calvin Robinson, also plans to capitalise on the anger caused by the publishing of the BBC's top star's salaries this week.

It has recently funded billboard and Facebook adverts outlining the Beeb's spending.

Last month a Sun survey revealed more than half of Brits think the BBC licence fee should be scrapped.

Out of 1,000 questioned in a Sun-commissioned survey by OnePoll, just 43 per cent feel the BBC provides value for money with its annual £157.50 licence fee.

It comes as Zoe Ball has bagged nearly a £1million pay rise, the BBC revealed today, as Huw Edwards and Alan Shearer's wages are cut after the gender pay gap backlash.

The BBC Annual Report this week revealed the 49-year-old's pay has soared from £370,000 last year to a minimum of £1.36million – nine times that of the Prime Ministers'.

It was also revealed Gary Lineker is set to be cut by 23 per cent to £1.35m after the Match of the Day host signed a new five-year deal with the broadcaster.


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