The chair of the DCMS committee has called on the government to bar candidates that have previously been deemed unappointable from applying again to become the new chair of Ofcom.
The prime minister’s preferred candidate, former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, was said to be “not appointable” by a board of civil servants and outside executives. Three other candidates were approved, but there remains a vacancy at the top of the media regulator.
Julian Knight has written to Sarah Fry, Head of Appointments, Honours & Awards, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport noting that the criteria for the new set of candidates is much the same as the first.
“Where a previous candidate has been deemed to be unappointable for a post, they should be ruled out of re-applying. However, this crucial line is missing from the campaign information to recruit Ofcom’s next Chair. It would be extremely alarming if this was a deliberate omission rather than an oversight and we are seeking clarification,” he said.
The DCMS Committee has urged the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to include this message in the recruitment documentation for potential applicants.