The search for a new chair for UK broadcasting regulator is to start again from the beginning after an interview board rejected the prime minister’s preferred candidate.
Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was widely regarded as a shoo-in, but while the board of civil servants and outside executives approved three candidates from an original field of ten, Dacre was said to be “not appointable”.
The names of the three approved candidates were then passed to culture secretary Oliver Dowden. Rather than select one of the three Dowden rejected the process and asked for the contest to be re-run.
The move attracted criticism from DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight: ““We are concerned about the lack of clarity on why the process to appoint a new Chair of Ofcom needs to be re-run.
“In this situation, we would expect that previous candidates for the post would not need to re-apply and we will be seeking reassurance from the DCMS Secretary of State that this is the case.”
Another Johnson favourite, former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore, ruled himself out of the BBC chairmanship.
The Daily Telegraph reported that social media companies had been lobbying against Mr Dacre’s appointment.