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Major changes to BBC Politics as BBC Parliament becomes part-year service

The BBC has announced it's axing its Sunday lunchtime politics slot and making cutbacks at BBC Parliament.

While politicians were busy focusing on the publication of the Government's Brexit White Paper and the arrival of US President Trump in the UK, the BBC slipped out confirmation of some of the biggest changes to its political coverage in recent years.

The long-running Sunday lunchime politics slot on BBC One is to be axed at the end of the month. The slot was previously the home of The Politics Show and before that, On The Record.

Meanwhile, BBC Parliament will no longer be on air during the weeks when the UK Parliament or the devolved Parliaments are not sitting.

The regional opt-outs during the Sunday Politics programme will move to a new, standalone half-hour slot on BBC One at 10am Sunday, directly after Andrew Marr's Sunday morning show.

Weekdays from September, Politics Live will replace BBC Two's Daily Politics and be on air for 45 minutes. Politics Live will be presented by Jo Coburn four days a week and Andrew Neil will present a special extended programme on Wednesdays, to include Prime Minister's Questions.

BBC Parliament
There will also be a major change to BBC Parliament with what the BBC has described as a 'changed schedule' in the latest set of BBC cutbacks.

The channel will still broadcast live and replayed coverage of Parliament and the devolved parliaments and assemblies, but it will no longer make bespoke programmes.

In the biggest change in the channel's history, the BBC confirmed it "will not air in the weeks when the UK Parliament or the devolved Parliaments and assemblies are not sitting".

With the UK Parliament and the devolved assemblies and chambers increasingly live streaming their proceedings, the BBC says it will signpost these livestreams alongside its journalism.

Speaking of the axing of the Sunday lunchtime politics slot on BBC One, Gavin Allen, the BBC's Controller of Daily Programmes, said:
“But given the need for BBC News to make substantial savings while offering distinctive content, it no longer makes sense for us to run two national UK politics programmes in close succession on the same day and the same channel.”

The BBC has also said it will boost social and online coverage of politics - including podcasts - as part of a wider drive to engage with younger audiences.