The culture secretary Oliver Dowden yesterday (27 September) chose not to confirm reports that two of Boris Johnson’s “close allies” are to be given top media jobs at the BBC and Ofcom.
The Sunday Times revealed that Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail, is primed to become head of the media regulator Ofcom, while Lord Charles Moore, former editor at the Telegraph, was to become chairman at the BBC.
Crucially, both are strong historic critics of the BBC and Brexit supporters.
Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge yesterday, Dowden said: “I think everyone’s getting a bit ahead of themselves with this.
“We will be launching shortly the process for the appointment of both the chairman of the BBC and the Ofcom chair, and at that point applicants will be welcome to apply for it.”
He continued by discussing his aims for the BBC: “What we’re looking for is a strong, big person who can hold the BBC to account.
“There’s three things I’ve been talking about with the BBC. First is ensuring there is genuine impartiality. Secondly is ensuring the BBC is up to the challenges of the future, as we move from analogue through digital to platform technology – huge changes for the BBC.”
He added: “And then, thirdly, ensuring that the BBC represents all parts of our nation, not just narrow, metropolitan areas – London, Bristol, Birmingham and so on.”