The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee has called on the government to give it statutory right of veto over senior appointments to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.
It follows reports the government wants to install former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre as the regulator’s new chair, as well as Charles Moore as chair of the BBC.
The committee said 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.”
“Transparency must be at the heart of the process and this committee is determined to ensure that is what we will get,” said committee chair Julian Knight MP.
“We cannot have a fair process undermined by politicking. Cabinet ministers must not indulge in public speculation or private briefing about potential appointments to either of these posts if the integrity of the appointments process is to be maintained.”
“To increase scrutiny, we’re asking for statutory veto over the appointment and dismissal of the next chair of Ofcom, a power that has been called for repeatedly and has precedent elsewhere,” said Knight.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said the process for appointing new chairs of the BBC and Ofcom would be launched shortly, with interviews conducted by an independent panel.