Current BBC chair David Clementi has made his feelings known about the possible appointment of Charles Moore as his successor.
Asked about the rumours of Moore’s appointment during a DCMS Committee hearing, Clementi said that it is an important matter for the government and the DCMS Committee, and the BBC charter is clear; the appointment may only be made following a fair and open competition.
“I hope the government will encourage well-qualified candidates to apply so there is a strong and diverse field, rather than putting them off by giving them the impression there is already a preferred candidate,” said Clementi.
He added that BBC DG Tim Davie said in his first speech that the BBC is about being “free from political bias, guided by the pursuit of truth, not about a particular agenda.”
“The point I want to make,” Clementi told the committee, “is impartiality starts at the top of the organisation, it doesn’t start halfway down. It starts with the chair and the board. If the candidate comes from that sort of background, he or she will need to be able to demonstrate to you that they have left their strong political views at the door.”
Clementi added he welcomes the committee’s decision to write to secretary of state Oliver Dowden expressing their concerns following press stories over the appointment of a new chairman of the BBC.