The BBC should be forced to reflect every community in the UK amid criticism the corporation is too London-centric, an influential Lords committee has said.

Peers want the broadcaster to be given the new duty, because of the universal nature of the licence fee.

The demand comes as the BBC mulls over a blueprint for a possible "Scottish Six" to replace the current six o'clock news.

Reports suggest that the new programme could cost £5million a year.

The idea of a 'Scottish Six', covering national and international news, but anchored from Scotland, has been discussed for decades.

It was famously resisted by then Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who wrote about it in his memoirs.

There have been suggestions, however, that the idea has gone down badly with focus groups in Scotland.

A decision is due to be made in the spring

A BBC spokesman said: “We are still in the middle of a review into Scottish news. No decisions have yet been taken”.

In a new report published today the Lords Communications committee writes: “We note that the BBC’s role in representing the UK, its nations and regions has been criticised as being too London-centric.”

It also warns that it has heard from a number of witnesses “who felt that the BBC did not reflect their lives”.

But the report stressed it did not want a "diminution in the quality or quantity" of BBC news coverage.

It also recommends the continuation of a dedicated UK news channel, amid fears it will get the axe.

Some unionist MPs argue that a separate Scottish Six would aid the breakup of the Union.

Last week the Scottish Government called a separate six o'clock news programme covering the world from a Scottish perspective and for broadcasting policy to be fully devolved to Holyrood.

Scottish Labour’s Democracy spokesperson Claire Baker MSP said that the current charter renewal process at the BBC "must not be about advancing the political agenda of the Scottish Government or the SNP.

"Changes to BBC governance and programming should not be about meeting the aim of constitutional change and the Scottish Government policy paper comes dangerously close to politicising the BBC Charter process."