Jacob Rees Mogg: 'BBC licence fee is past its sell-by date'

Jacob Rees-Mogg would vote against the BBC licence fee given the chance. Credit: Getty

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the BBC licence fee is past its sell-by date and he would vote against it given the chance.

Speaking to TalkTV's Mike Graham, the Conservative MP and Business Secretary said the charge acts as a "safety blanket" that is constraining the corporation's growth.

It comes after an impartiality row was sparked and Gary Lineker was temporarily taken off Match of the Day for a tweet comparing the Government's asylum seeker policy to that of 1930s Germany.

Gary Lineker to return to Match of the Day

"The licence fee is past its sell-by date," he said when asked if he would vote against it if given the opportunity.

"Why should I watch Match Of The Day? I don’t follow association football. If there had been a row about test-match special and John Agnew had tweeted something controversial I'd have been interested.

"But I really can’t get excited about these matters.”

Mike mentioned the BBC does not have "a lot to boast about" after losing the rights to a number of large sporting events, to which Mr Rees-Mogg replied: "That's because they've got the safety blanket of the licence fee which means that their revenue has been static while other media operators have seen massive increases - and they think the licence fee is helpful to them.

"It is a constraint on their growth. Netflix does drama and has a much bigger budget, Sky has taken over a lot of the sport and its revenue is about three times that of the BBC."