Active Agents of Party Politics on the BBC Board

Emily Maitlis generated a bit of a stir last night and made clear, as if we didn’t know where her political allegiances lay, by condemning BBC board member Robbie Gibb as an “active agent of the Conservative party”. This was on the basis that he was Theresa May’s Downing Street spin doctor – neglecting to mention that he was the former head of BBC politics. He’s also an ardent defender of the BBC licence fee.

It is, of course, shocking that a Tory is on a BBC board that has historically been packed with Labour supporters. Blair’s former SpAd Ed Richards left Downing Street to join the board of Ofcom. There was no outcry as there was when Dacre was pencilled in for an Ofcom role. Richards then went to the BBC strategy team and was in the running for BBC Director General. Can’t remember Maitlis speaking out about him.

Gavyn Davies, the Goldman Sachs tycoon, midwife of Quantitative Easing, and adviser to Gordon Brown, was appointed BBC chairman. This was after he donated a chunk of his wealth to the Labour Party, of which he had been a long-term supporter. This sparked allegations of cronyism as his wife, Sue Nye was also Gordon Brown’s right hand woman. Greg Dyke, another Labour Party donor, was also on the board despite having made his money at ITV (Robbie Gibb, Maitlis complained, advised GB News). Guido can find no public utterance by Maitlis about these appointments.

Ian Hargreaves, a former editor of the left-wing New Statesmen, was a BBC board member. James Purnell, a former Cabinet Minister under Blair was a BBC board member, and even appeared on Newsnight without his former political affiliations being mentioned by Maitlis in any way. Obviously, the fact that Maitlis has a new podcast to publicise has nothing to do with her new-found concern for the past political affiliations of BBC board members.

mdi-timer August 25 2022 @ 16:44 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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