The British Council is most certainly not “the British government’s cultural arm” as suggested by your article (British Council to close 20 offices across globe after cuts and lost income, 9 September). It is a public corporation and charity, governed by royal charter. Unfortunately, most of its funding comes from the government and because of the pandemic shortfall on language tuition and other services, it will not be able to balance its books.

As someone who has worked with the council in Africa, I can tell you that far too many politicians simply do not understand the good that the British Council does for the UK’s reputation, and the despair and disappointment when its offices are closed. Alliance Française and the Goethe-Institut do not suffer from such political indifference and have funding that makes the UK’s equivalent, the British Council, look seriously third-rate.
Bob McIntyre
Llandovery, Carmarthenshire

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