POPULAR BBC website pages including its food and recipes service have become the latest victim of the Tories’ “mindless destruction” of the corporation.
Yesterday’s BBC announcement followed last week’s publication of a government white paper on the future of the BBC.
As part of the £15 million cuts programme, social media activity promoting digital radio and music will also be reduced, and the BBC’s travel website will be closed.
Labour’s shadow secretary of state for culture, media & sport Maria Eagle said: “This is another example of the mindless destruction caused by the Secretary of State’s [John Whittingdale’s] obsession with diminishing the BBC.
“These recipes are a fantastic resource for thousands of people which they have already paid for through the licence fee.
“Labour will continue to stand up for the licence-fee payer and will fight any further government attacks on the BBC’s independence.”
Baking enthusiast Emma Barrington, fearing that the food pages would be targeted, felt so upset that she started a Change.org petition to reverse the cuts which nearly 90,000 people have signed in just a week.
Ms Barrington said: “It seems like a totally pointless and unfair intervention by the government to impose this on the BBC under the vague directive of providing ‘distinct content.’
“They are wasting time on removing our recipes when there are bigger problems to worry about.
Cookbook author and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe said: “I learned to cook on the dole using free recipes online and for the BBC to reduce this vital service is an abomination.”
Late yesterday the BBC backtracked on plans to scrap the entire website, promising to leave the archive up.
The content currently on its food website will be transferred to the BBC Good Food site, which is owned by its commercial arm BBC Worldwide.