Non-payment of TV licence fee could be decriminalised

Non-payment of the licence fee could be decriminalised, it is reported.

The Sunday Telegraph said Boris Johnson is looking into consulting on whether people who do not pay the £154.50 licence fee for watching television or BBC's iPlayer catch-up service should be prosecuted.

It comes after Downing Street refused to appear on BBC Radio 4's Today programme due to what they believe is its pro-Remain bias.

Last financial year, 25.8 million households had TV licences bringing in £3.6 billion to the BBC.

A review may recommend replacing the existing criminal sanctions for non-payment of the TV licence fee with a civil system of fines.

In the run-up to last week's General Election, Mr Johnson said he was "looking at" abolishing the BBC licence fee altogether.

He said that while the Tories were currently "not planning to get rid of all TV licence fees", the current system "bears reflection".

The current royal charter – which sets out the governance of the BBC – runs until December 2027.