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Broadcasting Bill

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received concerning the Broadcasting Bill and religion; and if he will make a statement.

We have received representations from a number of groups and individuals about religious broadcasting. The Broadcasting Bill as introduced would liberalise the regulation of religious broadcasting in a number of ways: for instance, the automatic ban on religious advertising in schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1981 would be lifted. The Bill has subsequently been amended to require Channel 3 and 5 licensees to give a sufficient amount of time to religious programming, and to enable the ITC to allow religious groups to own cable and non-DBS satellite channels where satisfied that this would be appropriate. Content safeguards are needed against possible abuse of religious broadcasting, but, as indicated during the Commons Report stage on 8 May 1990, Official Report, column 158, we are reviewing the relevant requirements in the Bill with a view to ensuring that they are both adequate and not unnecessarily restrictive.

incidents at Blundeston and Winchester, 25 inmates and seven inmates respectively were positively identified as being actively involved.

1 The figures for inmate injuries do not include the prisoner who died during the incident at Manchester nor the prisoner who was found dead after a fire in his cell at Dartmoor.

2 In addition, one officer died at the time of the incident at Manchester.