HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 cc577-8

4.30 pm.

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. You and other hon. Members are very much aware of the reliance that we place on a free journalistic corps—on the fact that journalists must be absolutely free to report on what hon. Members and others do. Can you suggest what we might do to protect journalists in the BBC against an absolutely unjustified trammelling of their freedom which seems, on the face of it—if we can believe the reports—to result from some high-level cronyism between elements in the Government and elements in the senior level of the BBC? The matter surely must concern you, Madam Speaker, as much as it does other hon. Members. Will you say what can be done about it?

Madam Speaker

I concern myself with many matters in the House, and try to give useful and beneficial guidance to hon. Members. However, on those matters, I think that we must all act in accordance with our own consciences.