Charles Moore cautioned for BBC licence boycott over Jonathan Ross and 'Sachsgate'
Daily Telegraph columnist Charles Moore reveals in the paper today that he was cautioned by TV licensing enforcers after he refused to pay the annual fee in protest at Jonathan Ross remaining employed by the BBC in the wake of the "Sachsgate" affair.
Moore writes: "I have twice been visited by enforcement officers from TV Licensing. On the second occasion, shortly before Christmas, they claimed the right to caution me (though they have no legal powers, and are merely employees of a private contractor called Capita). Then they noted down what I had to say about why I would not pay the fee, warned me that I might be laying myself open to prosecution, and left.
"What should I do now? In July last year, when my licence came up for renewal, I wrote to Carl Shimeild, the operations director of TV Licensing, to explain my refusal to pay. “If the BBC terminates Ross’s contract,” I said, “I shall pay my licence fee.” I shall stick to that. Ross is leaving the BBC in July this year, so at that point, but not before, I shall renew. It will be amusing to see if the enforcement bureaucracy pays any attention to what is happening, or just plugs on, chasing me for my “year out”.
Despite Ross leaving the BBC, Moore remains on the attack, claiming that "everyone can see now" that BBC Director-General Mark Thompson "is not worth his £800,000 salary".
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery