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Boris warned he risks losing Red Wall voters if he fails to deliver on Brexit and BBC

3 min read

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With the Brexit October deadline coming and going, Britain and the EU are scrambling to secure a deal before the end of the transition period. The Prime Minister has also been criticised for shelving plans to decriminalise the BBC.

During last year’s general election, senior Tory MPs attacked the BBC accusing the corporation of bias.

Mr Johnson shelved plans to decriminalise non-payments of the mandatory TV licence amid Downing Street chaos as BBC critic Dominic Cummings resigned last week.

During the general election last year, the Conservative party won several Labour-stronghold seats in the North of England over promises of Brexit and reforming the BBC.

But now the campaign group, Defund the BBC, has warned the Prime Minister he could risk losing essential votes if he fails to deliver on election promises.

Rebecca Ryan, campaign director at Defund the BBC, told Express.co.uk: “If he does not deliver on promises he could lose the Red Wall.

“It’s very clear there were a huge amount of votes that were lent to the Conservative Party based on their promises basically for reforming the establishment in a lot of ways.

“Certainly delivering Brexit and on dealing with the BBC as well.

“You can look at it and say he has got another four years anyway, in the interim if he can claw that back.

“But if he doesn’t deliver on those, there would be a huge amount of people voting against Conservatives in the country.”

Ms Ryan went on to add the Prime Minister risks losing seats from all over the country as their supporters feel “completely marginalised”.

She continued: “Not just in the Red Wall either.

“We find that a lot of our supporters come from all over the country.

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“They are pretty much the exact people who are swing voters, outside metropolitan areas, they are in towns and the countryside who just feel completely marginalised.

“So, if he doesn’t deliver on what he set out in his election campaign, then I think he could be in trouble in the next election.”

Three million pensioners have now been forced to pay £157.50 for a TV licence after the BBC ditched its pledge of free TV licences for the over-75s.

Only those who receive pension credit benefit and are aged over 75 will be eligible for a free licence.

The licence fee is the annual cost viewers must pay in the UK and funds the TV, radio and online services of the BBC.

Those caught watching television without a licence can be fined up to £1,000 in addition to court costs.

Ms Ryan went on to explain how the decision to shelf the plans is “deeply frustrating” for the campaign group.

She continued: “It’s deeply frustrating, you wonder what’s behind it because in some briefings in the papers it said it was all tied in with the Dominic Cummings drama over the last weekend.

“The briefing came out that there was going to be a change of position and now actually the BBC stuff might be rolled back because apparently it was losing government support.

“But we would contest that very strongly.

“What our supporters are telling us is that they would really like the government to push on with what they believe was promised in the election.”

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