Michael Grade: BBC needs independent ombudsman

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BBC viewers and listeners with a complaint about the corporation should be able to write to an independent ombudsman, former chairman Michael Grade has suggested.

Grade, who left the BBC for ITV in 2006, told MPs on the media select committee this afternoon that he would “wholeheartedly support” a better complaints procedure at the broadcaster.

He said the public did not necessarily know how to pursue a complaint and the delays in getting a response were unacceptable. There is also confusion about what falls within Ofcom’s remit and that of the BBC Trust.

On the slow complaints procedure, Grade said: “It’s absolutely hopeless. It does a great institution no service at all.”

Grade added that he believed the BBC Trust was too inward-looking: “They should be stimulating the debate about what public service broadcasting is, not waiting for Ofcom. They’re very very reactive.”

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