BBC chairman Sir David Clementi warns over subscription fee

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BBC logo on buildingImage copyrightGetty Images

A diminished BBC would weaken the country as a whole, the corporation’s chairman will warn in a speech later.

Sir David Clementi will say putting the broadcaster’s services behind a paywall would lessen its ability to “bring the country together”.

Not everybody would be able to access the “live important moments we enjoy as a nation”, like Royal weddings and Olympic successes, he will tell staff.

His comments come amid a debate about the future of the licence fee.

In December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the licence fee needs “looking at”, and Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan last week launched a public consultation on whether non-payment of the TV licence fee should remain a criminal offence.