Cameron attacks BBC

Tory leader David Cameron has seized on last week’s phone prank fiasco to attack the BBC, calling it “bloated”.

The Conservative leader’s comments come a day after a Sunday newspaper revealed 50 BBC executives earn more than the prime minister.

Writing in the Sun today, Mr Cameron accused the BBC of having become “bloated”.

“I simply don’t believe these kinds of salaries are necessary to get the best candidates,” he wrote.

“These are some of the best jobs in British broadcasting and it is a huge honour to be asked to do them.”

Last week saw a media storm over lewd comments made by comedians Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2, which resulted in the resignation of the station’s controller Lesley Douglas and over 30,000 complaints from licence fee payers.

Ross, who has a three-year contract with the BBC worth £18 million, has been suspended for three months without pay and his case has highlighted the corporation’s expenditure on its biggest stars.

Mr Cameron pointed out the £6 million annual contract costs the equivalent of 43,000 people’s licence fees.

Questioning whether such high contracts are necessary, he asked: “Is it really the job of the BBC to pay these sorts of figures?

“Shouldn’t they rely on the kudos of the platforms they have – after all there is no real national commercial equivalent to Radio 2 – to attract and keep talent?”

BBC director-general Mark Thomas told BBC1’s Andrew Marr programme yesterday he would seek to acquire “the best entertainment talent for less than we have been able to do in the last few years”.