The Mirror revealed in 2012 that Ms Dorries had employed her two daughters – Phillipa, then 27, and Jennifer, then 23 – in secretarial roles in her private office – at a cost of up to £80,000
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Nadine Dorries complained about nepotism at the BBC, despite having employed two of her daughters with taxpayers’ cash.
The newly minted Culture Secretary told an event at Tory conference: “We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just people whose mum and dad worked there.”
The Mirror revealed in 2012 that Ms Dorries had employed her two daughters – Phillipa, then 27, and Jennifer, then 23 – in secretarial roles in her private office.
Both daughters were paid from public funds at a cost to the taxpayer of up to £80,000.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Telegraph’s podcast Chopper’s Politics, Ms Dorries said the path from a poor background to the top of a career in the arts or media had “completely disappeared”.
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Ms Dorries said “People I went to school with, from my background – I borrowed shoes to go to school, and people I went to school, who had done exactly the same thing – one of them went on to be Cher’s music producer, another one went on to be a very well-known TV broadcaster.
“People from my background wrote books, wrote theatre plays and did really well.”
She went on: “If you want to do that today you need a double-barrelled name, you need to have gone to a private or a public school or your mum needs to know someone, or your dad needs to know someone, or you need to have a connection at the BBC.”
She added: “Levelling up isn’t about regional growth figures, it’s not about connectivity, it’s about none of that, it’s about people.
“The people it’s about the most are people who come from a background like mine who want to be the next Grand Slam champion but can’t afford the private tennis lessons; who want to be the next Daisy Edgar-Jones but their mum or dad aren’t head of entertainment at Sky; or they want to be Benedict Cumberbatch but they don’t go to private school.
“I want to go back to those kids and find them a pathway into the industry.”