Europe

Boris 'offers top Ofcom job to former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre'

The Daily Mail’s former editor has been tipped to become chairman of the broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Paul Dacre, who stepped down from the helm of the newspaper in 2018, is said to be Boris Johnson’s preferred candidate for the job.

He was reportedly ‘wooed’ by the Prime Minister over drinks in Downing Street and is now in talks with Number 10, according to the Sunday Times.

During his editorship of the Daily Mail, Mr Dacre was critical of the BBC, and would likely regulate the public service broadcaster if he was made Ofcom chairman.

The Sunday Times also reports that Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, has been asked to take up the post of BBC chairman.

Ofcom chairman Terence Burns is due to leave before the end of the year, while BBC chairman Sir David Clementi will stand down in February.

Lord Moore has previously criticised the criminalisation of people who refuse to pay the licence fee.

A Government spokeswoman said the processes are yet to open.

‘We will launch the application process for the new chair of the BBC shortly,’ they said.

‘It is an open recruitment process and all public appointments are subject to a robust and fair selection criteria.’

Shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: ‘Throughout this crisis, one of Boris Johnson’s overriding priorities has been handing out cushy jobs, public contracts and taxpayers’ cash without proper scrutiny.

‘People are worried about their jobs and health. The Prime Minister should be showing the leadership our country needs, not seeking undue influence over our independent institutions.’

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What is Ofcom and what does it cover?

Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.

The watchdog makes sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio.

Ofcom deals with most content on television, radio and video-on-demand services, including the BBC. However, if your complaint is about something you saw or heard in a BBC programme, you may need to complain to the BBC first.

Its rules for television and radio programmes are set out in the Broadcasting Code.

The rules in the Broadcasting Code also apply to the BBC iPlayer.

This Broadcasting Code is the rule book that broadcasters have to follow and it covers a number of areas, including; protecting the under-18s, protecting audiences from harmful and/or offensive material and ensuring that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.

Audiences can complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.

Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, they assess it to see if it needs further investigation.

If Ofcom decide to investigate, they will include the case in a list of new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.

An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.

Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.

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