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Boris Johnson ‘preparing to announce’ Paul Dacre as Ofcom chair

Former Daily Mail editor is said to be the prime minister's "preferred choice" for the role

Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre as the new chair of regulator Ofcom.

According to The Observer, Dacre is Johnson’s preferred choice for the role and his appointment is expected to be announced “soon”.

The possibility of Dacre succeeding Lord Burns as Ofcom chair was first mooted at the end of last summer. At the time, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee called on the government to give it statutory right of veto over senior appointments to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

It warned that the promotion of potential names by senior government figures “would cast doubt on the eventual appointments and the fairness of the process, regardless of candidates’ merits.”

Dacre is still editor in chief of Daily Mail Group and publisher of the Mail on Sunday, Metro and the MailOnline website. Ofcom staff are expected to adopt political neutrality.

He is a well-known critic of the BBC, and is not a fan of the major internet platforms.

Last month, Richard Sharp was named as the new chair of the BBC.