PM plots Commons assault on ITV plan to shift News at Ten

Cabinet ministers believe the ITV companies will be forced to back down over their plans to move News at Ten.

Cabinet ministers believe the ITV companies will be forced to back

down over their plans to move News at Ten.



Senior Government sources said this week that they expected the

Independent Television Commission to block ITV’s proposal for the news

bulletins to be rescheduled at 6.30pm and 11.30pm. ’We believe the ITV

companies will have to think again,’ one ministerial source said.



Tony Blair intends to increase the pressure for a U-turn by criticising

the plan in the Commons on 21 October, at the first session of Prime

Minister’s Question Time since the summer recess.



Further Government pressure emerged in a letter from Chris Smith, the

Culture Secretary, to Gerald Kaufman, chairman of the Commons Culture,

Media and Sport Select Committee.



Smith insisted the final decision was a matter for the ITC, but argued

the ITV plan did not meet its legal requirement under the 1990

Broadcasting Act to provide news of a standard ’to compete effectively

with other news programmes broadcast nationwide’.



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