Source: Nadine Dorries told the truth about BBC board member Robbie Gibb interfering with Ofcom’s recruitment

Source: Nadine Dorries told the truth about BBC board member Robbie Gibb interfering with Ofcom’s recruitment

EXCLUSIVE: Nadine Dorries told the truth when she accused BBC board member Robbie Gibb of meddling in a key appointment at Britain’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

This is the assessment of a source who worked closely with Dorries during her time as culture minister in the year to September 2022. This person told Deadline that Gibb was “campaigning” to convince his preferred candidate to become Ofcom chairman.

This is the latest twist in a media dispute that is slowly gaining momentum in Britain after Dorries made allegations in her book about Gibbs’ interference in Ofcom’s recruitment process. The storyline.

Dorries was responsible for recruiting the next Ofcom chairman, narrowing the field down to Lord Grade, a former BBC and ITV executive, and Lord Gilbert, a Conservative peer who served as an election strategist for former prime minister Theresa May served.

Dorries’ preferred candidate was Grade, but she claims Gibb tried to persuade her to appoint Gilbert at a meeting at 10 Downing Street. Gibb worked for May as communications director, so he and Gilbert maintained a link with the former British leader.

Speaking to Deadline, Dorries’ former colleague accused Gibb of having tried to arrange other “secret” meetings with the minister to pressure her about the decision. “We ignored it and I tried to keep them apart,” the source said.

Dorries eventually installed Grade at Ofcom, but the allegations raise questions about whether Gibb acted inappropriately. Critics say it would be inappropriate for a BBC director to try to influence who runs the broadcaster’s regulator.

Gibb did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment and has not previously denied Dorries’ allegations. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) declined to comment.

The BBC referred to previous statements on this. In a letter to Alan Russell, the former said Guardian BBC acting editor-in-chief Elan Closs Stephens, who investigated the claims, said she discussed the matter with Gibb and found there had been “no breach” of the board’s code of conduct. She did not dispute that Gibb interfered with Ofcom’s role.

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC board has no opinion on who should be chairman of Ofcom. The appointment of the chairman of the regulator is not a matter for the BBC; This is a government-led process and all inquiries should be directed to the DCMS.”

New BBC chairman Samir Shah was repeatedly questioned about Gibbs’ actions during a hearing of Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Wednesday.

Labor MP Kevin Brennan said it would be “completely inappropriate” for Gibb to intervene in Ofcom’s recruitment process. Shah said he would not prejudge the case until he had a chance to review the evidence. He promised to discuss the matter with Closs Stephens and present his conclusions to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Shah, who once worked with Gibb as co-executive producer of the BBC political show This weekadmitted that the appointment of the Ofcom chairman had “nothing to do with a BBC board member”.

Source: Deadline

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