As a member of the British Council All Party Parliamentary Group, Moorlands MP, Karen Bradley was pleased to take part in the Urgent Question yesterday on British Council Closures.
The Government has stepped forward with financial support, but it is still around £10 million short of what the British Council needs to maintain both its international network of offices and programmes. This could result in the largest single set of closures in the British Council’s near 90-year history, unless the Government now changes its mind.
"My right hon. Friend the Minister will shortly be able to travel the world, and when he does so he will find that the presence of the British Council on site is the best embodiment of global soft power that this country has. The British Council has a funding shortfall because it cannot operate commercially. Can my right hon. Friend please find it in him to give that additional support to make sure that that on-site presence is there for when he makes those ministerial visits?"
"I thank my right hon. Friend for her question. May I correct the record—with apologies, because she is a very good friend of mine—as I am an hon. Member rather than a right hon. Member? Either way, she will appreciate that plans for the global presence of the British Council are still being finalised. We have provided a package of support and an increase in funding of which, as I said, many arm’s length bodies would be extremely envious. It is, of course, for the British Council to comment on its plans for the overseas network, but I assure my right hon. Friend that those final decisions will be communicated shortly."
To read the full debate: