An investigative report says the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been pocketing millions of pounds in EU’s aid money, putting a big question mark on its impartiality claims.
The BBC World Service Trust, the corporation’s little-known international development arm, has received £15.5 million in EU grants since 2007 to help boost its global brand and employ hundreds of staff in London and overseas, The Sunday Express reported.
It has also accepted a £2.3 million EU handout to “assist the digital switchover in Serbia” last year, the report added.
The BBC has also been involved in one particularly obscure project which included “unblocking the cocoa value chain in Eastern Sierra Leone.”
“Through this program we plan to reach 14,000 farmers and potential farmers increasing their knowledge on cocoa farming and the cocoa sector,” said the European Commission.
The BBC World Service Trust was established in 1999 and has been ballooned since, despite the widespread spending cut program adopted by the UK government to fill the widening hole of its record budget deficit.
The so-called charity, whose operations remain secret, has employed 600 staff with an annual budget of £28 million. It even owns a broadcasting company in Iraq.
The fact that the Trust is helping with EU projects has raised serious questions over BBC impartiality.
“By accepting money from the EU in any way, the BBC compromises its neutrality on the most important issue facing this country: our membership of that organization,” said UKip deputy leader and MEP Paul Nuttall.