New Delhi, February 22
The British government has defended the BBC in Parliament after the Indian Income-Tax department conducted “surveys” at the media house’s New Delhi and Mumbai offices last week.
A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) junior minister David Rutley responded to an urgent question in the House of Commons to say that the government cannot comment over an “ongoing investigation”. “We stand up for the BBC. We fund the BBC. We think the BBC World Service is vital. We want the BBC to have that editorial freedom,” the minister underlined.
“It criticises us, it criticises the Labour party, and it has that freedom that we believe is so important. It will continue to do so, because it is important to ensure that our voice – and an independent voice, through the BBC — is heard throughout the world,” he said.