MINISTERS could be about to vote on whether to no longer make the non-payment of the TV licence a criminal offence on the back of the success of a campaign which started in North West Leicestershire.
The district’s MP Andrew Bridgen said he was ‘extremely pleased’ to have received huge cross-party support for his campaign, with 143 members signing the amendment so far, including South Derbyshire’s representative Heather Wheeler.
If ministers agree to include Mr Bridgen’s proposal in the Deregulation Bill, a vote could take place as early as next week.
The BBC fears a change could lead to more people failing to pay the bill but Mr Bridgen told the Mail: “There is a definite feeling amongst members that it is wrong that the BBC has the power the criminalise and even see the imprisonment of people for not being able to pay a TV licence, many of whom are single women with children.
“I believe the time has now come to remove the special status the TV licence enjoys and make non-payment a civil offence.”