Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is said to be the Prime Minister’s choice to lead the broadcasting regulator Ofcom. It follows reports that former Daily Telegraph editor Lord Moore, the author of Margaret Thatcher’s official biography, is being lined up as the next BBC chairman.
Mr Dowden yesterday insisted no job offers had been made but did not deny that figures within the Government approached the pair about the roles.
The Culture Secretary told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show that the process would be opened soon and interviews conducted by an independent panel.
Asked if Mr Dacre and Lord Moore had been offered the jobs, he said: “No, we have a formal process for them to go through so I will be launching shortly the competition for the chair of the BBC. But in the chairman of the BBC we want a really strong, robust character that can hold the BBC to account, a strong chairman.”
He said the next chairman must enforce “genuine impartiality” at the BBC, keep up with “enormous technological changes” and “ensure the BBC represents the whole of the United Kingdom, not just a narrow metropolitan outlook”.
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Mr Dowden added: “Ofcom is an enormously important economic regulator. We need strong, credible people to fill those roles and that’s what we will be looking for through the competition process.”
Labour’s shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens questioned the Government’s approach to the roles.
Speaking on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday, she said: “Why are they worrying and interfering in an open process and appointments for BBC and head of Ofcom?”