Sir Michael Lyons accuses Sky of misrepresentation

Accusations that Sky is seeking to benefit from uncertainties over future of BBC.

The BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons has accused Sky of misrepresenting its position in the market place so as to benefit from the current debate over the future of the BBC.

He said in a speech that Sky's claims that it is in jeopardy due to the size of the BBC are not credible.

Sir Lyons said commercial and political rivals of the BBC, who put private interests first, are taking advantage of the uncertainty in the Corporation. They are looking upon the BBC as an obstacle to the furtherance of those private interests, he added.

Reacting to this, Graham McWilliam, Sky's group director of corporate affairs, said it is not new for the Trust to dismiss legitimate concerns about the scale and scope of the BBC.

Speaking to the Manchester Statistical Society, Sir Lyons slammed the Conservatives' idea to scrap the BBC Trust, saying it will result in the creation of a "glorified complaints office".

He said critics of the BBC Trust often overlook many of its achievements, and the executive board has proved to be beneficial, and not detrimental, as some argue.