the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

19 August 2010

With the Labour leadership contest in full swing, BECTU’s journal editor, Janice Turner, questionned the candidates on the issues that directly affect the creative industries.

From the BBC licence fee, to tax breaks in film, to arts funding and the right to take strike action, the candidates provided some frank answers which were published in the Aug/Sept 2010 issue of Stage Screen and Radio.  

Full and unedited version of the candidates' replies

Here is a small selection of what they said.

On the future of the BBC licence fee Diane Abbott believes “calls for the licence fee to be reduced or eliminated should be resisted.”

Asked about BECTU’s proposal for a levy on non-public service broadcasters David Miliband is "not convinced that such a levy is necessary or justified, not least in the current economic climate.”

On future funding of the arts Ed Miliband states that philanthropy is “not a substitute for public support.”

Asked about coalition plans for the possible removal of tax breaks for the British film industry Andy Burnham believes we could see “the death of our home-grown industry” as a result.

On Labour’s policy on the law governing industrial action Ed Balls "understands concerns that there is not a level playing field at work and the courts are becoming much too involved”. He believes Labour should look at ways of "maximising participation” in strike ballots.

Taking part in the election

The deadline for individual voting in the Labour leadership election is 21 September 2010. 

How BECTU, as an affiliated organisation, casts its vote will depend on the outcome of a consultative exercise amongst members in Britain who contribute to the political fund. Ballot papers will be issued shortly; the NEC has decided that no preference will be expressed for one candidate over another.


Amended 19 August to include reference to the consultation amongst members who contribute to the political fund.