CONSERVATIVE MPs from the North-East and Cumbria have written to the BBC and Ofcom to urge a reversal of funding cuts that will be made to regional news programmes.

The BBC recently made an announcement that it will be cutting funding across the United Kingdom to its regional news programmes on both the radio and television, with England seeing a disproportionately high cut in funding.

There will be fewer programmes on issues of specific and local relevance for many regions, with the North East and Cumbria set to lose many programmes.

Redundancies are expected at all radio and TV stations across the region.

Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, rallied MPs to write to both the BBC and Ofcom to ask that these funding cuts be urgently reconsidered and reversed.

Concerns have been expressed to the BBC about the negative impact cuts will have on the communities and jobs.

The letter states that the BBC has an annual income of £5 billion, with its highest-paid earners and senior management being paid ‘very substantial salaries’ and questions whether reduction in pay at all levels could have been a more sensible option, as opposed to forcing constituents to lose out on services.

Mr Holden said: “The BBC claims it wants to improve its services in the North- East, but these cuts will do the opposite and will widen the gap between the centralised, London-based BBC and the rest of the country.

"These cuts are on top of the BBC u-turning on providing free TV licenses to over 75s.

“Unless these changes are reversed we will see an enormous hit to our news programmes and they will be unable to focus on our regions and provide the content that works for us.

"Our constituents will not get the services they deserve and pay for if these BBC cuts go ahead.

“These proposals are extremely damaging for both the BBC and our communities, and we urge the BBC to urgently review and reverse these cuts.”