North West Norfolk MP is mocked for BBC flag questioning
North West Norfolk MP, James Wild, has been mocked and accused of putting bizarre questions to the BBC’s director general.
During a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, he wanted to know how many images of Union flags have been used in the BBC’s annual report.
He asked Tim Davie: “In your annual report last year, 268 pages, do you know how many Union flags featured in any of the graphics on those glossy pages?”
Mr Davie replied that in all the briefings he had for the meeting “that was not one of them, I’m afraid”.
“Zero,” Mr Wild said, asking if Mr Davie found that surprising.
“No,” Mr Davie said. “I think that’s a strange metric.
“I have to say one of the things I looked at when I came into the building this morning was a Union Jack flying proudly on Broadcasting House. Which it does on many days of the year.”
Mr Davie added part of his work involves travelling around the world promoting the UK.
However, Mr Wild pressed again, saying: “Always good to see the Union Jack flying. I just think in a 268-page report about the BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation, my constituents would expect to see probably more than one flag appearing.”
“I just don’t see it as a metric,” Mr Davie responded.
Mr Wild then asked how many flags were featured in the report The BBC Across The UK released last week.
“I could hazard a guess based on where the question is going, but I haven’t looked,” Mr Davie said.
Again, Mr Wild informed him there were zero and said he hopes to see more next year.
The exchange has received a mixed reaction online, with many mocking Mr Wild.
“This is obviously a major priority during a time of national crisis,” one Twitter user said.
Several pointed out neither the 2019 Conservative manifesto nor Mr Wild’s website feature any union flags.
And Rob Colwell, Parliamentary spokesman for North West Norfolk Liberal Democrats said: "I can think of much more important issues than the BBC use of flags for him to concentrate his mind on. Poverty and deprivation in King’s Lynn for one. A totally bizarre line of questioning regarding a financial audit report. It sounds like he just flicked through and couldn’t find any pretty pictures. Mr Wild thinks the constituents of North West Norfolk want to see more flags. No, they just want proper Covid financial support for all and food on their table.
However others were more positive, one said: “What a courageous stand for the very fabric of our nation.
“Our grandchildren will thank you.”