NORTH West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen has admitted he was surprised by how quickly his fellow politicians queued up to back his campaign to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence.
He said he was proud that he had been able to withstand ‘the might BBC’ and its warnings that it could have to close local radio stations and children’s favourite CBeebies.
The plan looks set to become law next summer after MPs decided the Government should be allowed to vote on the issue.
Following the decision, Mr Bridgen said: “I did not expect that in three weeks and with the support of 150 backbench colleagues, it would have led to not only the Government adopting it as policy but also achieving cross-party support.
“However, when an argument is right, even the BBC can be forced to back down and accept that criminalising and imprisoning people in this manner is not a sustainable option going forward.”
The corporation has argued the current policy ensures the majority of people pay the fee, but Mr Bridgen said that it is the poor and single mothers that invariably are prosecuted.
He added: “I am proud that my campaign has resulted in a path to decriminalisation so this blot on our statute book can be permanently removed.”