This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
BORIS JOHNSON asking former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre to head Ofcom and former Telegraph editor Charles Moore to chair the BBC is “provocative” and “worrying,” media campaigners and Labour said today.
Their comments came after reports emerged that the PM earmarked the pair for the jobs.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden merely added fuel to the flames when he said that no job offers had been made to the men so far and that there was a formal process for them to go through. He insisted that the government wanted “strong, credible people” to “hold the BBC to account” as well as broadcast regulator Ofcom.
But when asked if the government’s apparent plans for the BBC and Ofcom would be an act of sabotage against the institutions, Barry White of the Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom (North) agreed.
He said: “If, as reported, these stories are true, these are provocative choices by Johnson which will damage both the BBC and threaten the current system of media regulation.
“Both men are hostile to the BBC. Moore does not believe in public-service broadcasting, as shown by his refusal to pay the licence fee and his boasting that he does not watch television.
“Dacre’s record shows that he doesn’t believe in impartiality and effectively regulated media.
“These proposals have the fingerprints of [Mr Johnson’s special adviser] Dominic Cummings all over them and are as far-fetched as the Vatican appointing [DUP MP] Ian Paisley Jr as the next pope.”
Labour’s shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said government interference in the open processes of appointing heads of BBC and Ofcom was “worrying” and “strange.”
Speaking to Sky News, she queried: “Why is the government interfering in that sort of thing when they should be concentrating on getting a grip on test and trace, keeping coronavirus rates under control and getting the economy back on track?”
She said: “The BBC and Ofcom are integral to our national interest — Ofcom regulates the BBC — they should be free from political interference, they should be impartial, and the stuff that’s being trailed about these appointments is quite worrying.”
Scottish Labour culture spokeswoman Claire Baker said: “BBC and Ofcom are important independent organisations that operate in the interests of viewers and licence-fee payers.
“The process for appointing these roles must be open to all: any ‘coronation’ of friends of the Tory government is unacceptable.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.