Rishi Sunak should not be allowed to appoint BBC chair
BBC chairman Richard Sharp resigns
Former BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall has called for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to give up his involvement in appointing the new chair of the public broadcaster, following the resignation of Richard Sharp.
Speaking at the Voice of the Listener & Viewer spring conference on Thursday, May 11, he said: “The BBC is a broadcaster that is paid for by everybody and it should be independent, and its independence is fundamental and I think anything which helps to reinforce that is really important.
“When you then say, well, the Prime Minister appoints the chair, then there’s a sort of wry grin and, you know, people think, well, is that really the independence that you keep talking about?”
He added: “I think the more you can do to show that the board of the BBC is independent, the better.”
Now, a new poll has shown that two-thirds of Express.co.uk readers agree that Mr Sunak should not be involved in the appointment process.
In a poll that ran from 5.30pm on Friday, May 12, to 9am on Wednesday, May 17, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should next BBC chair be chosen by Rishi Sunak?”
A total of 1,378 readers responded with the vast majority, 67 percent (930 people), answering “no” compared to 31 percent (425 people) who said “yes” they should be chosen by the Prime Minister. A further two percent (23 people) said they did not know.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers discussed the appointment process.
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Some readers argued that Britons should have a say, with username billy9660 writing: “Should be chosen by people who pay the licence fee.”
Likewise, username welcome12 said: “As long as we pay a licence fee tax he should be part of the selection process.”
Others thought that the next chair should be selected independently, with username Chip1234 explaining: “No, it should be an independent panel.”
While username philippvonboeselager thought there should still be some involvement from Parliament, suggesting a “cross-party committee”.
However, a minority of readers commented that the Prime Minister should still appoint the chair. Username ChwaraeTeg said: “Yes, provided none of the candidates are shown to have done Rishi Sunak any favours.”
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