Tories vying to be the next PM face an angry backlash from OAPs in their constituencies who could lose their free TV licences.
Leadership candidates were warned to stand by manifesto pledges to preserve the benefit for over-75s.
BBC plans for only those on Pension Credit to be eligible from June 2020 could hit 3.7 million people.
Angry viewers have already called for a boycott of all BBC channels on June 21, while 50 OAPs will protest at the BBC’s Salford site tomorrow.
Bectu broadcasting union chief Philippa Childs said: “Leadership candidates should commit to preserving the free TV licence and admit it is a welfare benefit they should pay.”
And Labour deputy leader Tom Watson added: “I challenge all Tory leadership candidates to honour the commitment they made in 2017.”
Commons Library figures uncovered by Labour show 4,240 OAPs in Boris Johnson’s constituency will lose out. Some 6,730 in Jeremy Hunt’s seat will be denied, 6,260 in Michael Gove’s and 6,290 in Dominic Raab’s.
Only Sajid Javid and Andrea Leadsom have pledged to honour the manifesto commitment to preserve free licences for the rest of this Parliament. Other candidates refused – and turned their fire on the BBC.
Mr Raab said: “The Government was clear the BBC should fund TV licences for the over-75s.
“It feels like perverse priorities to balance their books in this way, when so many presenters are being paid six-figure salaries.” The Mirror is campaigning to save the benefit, with more than 18,000 readers completing our coupons. And more than 338,000 people have signed Age UK’s petition.
- Presenter Ben Fogle will donate his salary from BBC series Animal Park to help subsidise free TV licences.