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Former Downing Street spin doctor new BBC chair favourite

Robbie Gibb said to be the new frontrunner for the role

Sir Robbie Gibb, former spin doctor at 10 Downing Street, has emerged as the new frontrunner to become the BBC’s chair after Charles Moore dropped out of the race.

Gibb formerly led the BBC’s political programme output before leaving in July 2017 to become Theresa May’s director of communications. He has been rumoured to be involved in GB News, the news channel due to launch in the new year which is chaired by Andrew Neil.

As a former member of BBC staff, Gibb is thought to be an ally to new director general Tim Davie, but would be expected to take on a reforming role.

Last week reports emerged that Moore was the government’s number one choice to succeed David Clementi in the role. He is now believed to have dropped out of the running for personal reasons.

Speaking to the DCMS Committee last week, Clementi said the choice of his successor should 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.

The current BBC chair is due to step down from the role in February.