Government wants ‘strong’ BBC chair

The government wants "a strong, tall person to hold the BBC accountable" and reports that the company's next chairman could be Boris Johnson's former newspaper boss.

Charles Moore, Boris Johnson and Daniel Hannan pose for a picture: Charles Moore and Boris Johnson at the 2006 Conservative Party Conference. Picture: Shutterstock

© Rex Features
Charles Moore and Boris Johnson at the 2006 Conservative Party Conference. Image: Shutterstock

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden praised the "strengths" of both Charles Moore – the former Daily Telegraph editor who was linked to the BBC role – and Paul Dacre, the ex-editor of the Daily Mail, who was touted as the new chairman of the Ofcom Broadcasting Authority.

Paul Dacre wears a suit and tie: Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is supposed to take over Ofcom

© Imagebridge
Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is set to take over Ofcom

The two prominent Brexiters should be prime ministerthe choice to occupy the two influential positions.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Dowden said that he and Mr Johnson were "in contact" a lot "about the two roles.

However, he declined to rely on "speculation about various candidates".

"Everyone is a bit ahead of each other," said the cabinet minister.

"We will be launching the process of appointing the BBC Chair and Ofcom Chair shortly. Applicants are welcome to apply at this point."

Mr Dowden said the government is looking for 'a strong, great person to hold the BBC accountable' adding, 'It is important that we really look closely at the BBC and I look forward to moving this agenda forward. "

Lord Moore, who was named a Peerage by Downing Street earlier this year, was editor of Mr Johnson during the Prime Minister's tenure as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph.

The Sunday Times reported that the Prime Minister asked him to chair the BBC about a month ago and that it was practically a "deal made".

A source close to Mr Johnson was quoted as saying, "This is part of a process in which the Prime Minister is putting allies in key positions."

Lord Moore was a stern critic of the BBC's license fee, previously accusing the company of "despising" Brexit voters.

He claimed that as of January this year the BBC was "a body with its own impermeable, unified culture on the right track".

The 63-year-old has been criticized for his earlier writings on Islam and climate change.

Mr Dacre, 71, was editor of the Pro-Brexit Daily Mail for more than 25 years and criticized the BBC while in charge of the newspaper.

He would help regulate all broadcasters should he take on the Ofcom role.

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Tory MP Steve Baker, a Brexiteer, told Sky News he was looking forward to the media "being a little more conservative and pragmatic in what is reported" when Lord Moore and Mr. Dacre get the roles.

But Labor criticized the government after reports of the couple's upcoming appointments.

Jo Stevens, secretary for shadow culture, said: "The whole idea of ​​announcing appointments before a trial has actually taken place is a bit strange.

"I think the public will wonder where the government's priorities are and why they are getting involved in an open process."

Shadow Home Office Minister Jess Phillips said, "Just always know they take care of their own and only care that their pals have work."

Current Ofcom chairman Terence Burns is expected to leave before the end of the year, while BBC chairman Sir David Clementi is due to step down in February.

The BBC did not comment on the reports.

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