Wales politics

New BBC Radio Wales show sparks row among ministers

Claire Summers
Image caption Claire Summers' first breakfast show will be on 13 May

A row has broken out between ministers over schedule changes at BBC Radio Wales.

The station will drop the Good Morning Wales programme for a new breakfast show with Claire Summers on 13 May.

But Lord Elis-Thomas - who is responsible for broadcasting policy - said he does not support another minister's decision to formally raise concerns with the regulator Ofcom.

The Welsh Government has been asked to comment.

Culture Minister Lord Elis-Thomas said it was "not his opinion" and he "does not interfere in editorial matters about broadcasting nor the format of programmes."

The split follows a meeting between deputy economy minister Lee Waters - who is also responsible for strategic communications issues - and Ofcom's Welsh director Eleanor Marks.

BBC Wales has been told the meeting was an introductory session to discuss telecoms, and the discussion about Radio Wales was not part of the formal agenda.

Following the meeting Mr Waters, a former producer of Good Morning Wales, told BBC Wales he feared there would be "no serious news programme" when it disappears.

Image caption Lee Waters is a former BBC Wales producer who is now the AM for Llanelli

His objections were adopted by the Welsh Government when he used his ministerial role to register his concerns with the regulator, with the backing of the first minister.

The BBC maintains the replacement breakfast news programme will be an all-speech show that will scrutinise and analyse the day's news.

Lord Elis-Thomas has declined an interview request but said in an email: "Just to note that this is not my opinion at all.

"I do not interfere in editorial matters about broadcasting nor the format of programmes any more than I would attempt to tell the Arts Council about what counts as poetry."

Related Topics

More on this story