Conservative leader David Cameron has launched an attack on excessive salaries at the “bloated” BBC and also accused the broadcaster of losing touch with viewers.
In an article for The Sun today, he raised the prospect of cutting back the activities of the corporation which he said “had become oversized and overreached itself”.
Cameron said he was a fan of the BBC and approved of the way it was funded, but he warned: “The BBC has lost touch with the values of the people who support it through the licence fee.
“It’s become bloated with many of its executives overpaid.”
The Tory leader also singled out the size of the salaries of director general Mark Thompson and other executives.
Cameron said: “Why on earth is the director general paid over £800,000 a year? More than 50 people at this great public institution get more than the prime minister.
“I simply don’t believe these kinds of salaries are necessary to get the best candidates. These are some of the best jobs in British broadcasting and it is a huge honour to be asked to do them.”
Cameron said the BBC needed to stop squeezing and crushing commercial competitors, citing the corporation’s acquisition of Lonely Planet travel guides which he said threatened other publishers, and its plans for online local news video which he said could hit local newspapers.
“The squeezing and crushing of commercial competitors online or in publishing needs to be stopped,” he said.