Former Financial Times Group chief executive odds-on to be named BBC Trust chairwoman
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Sunday 31 August 2014
A former chief executive of the Financial Times Group, Rona Fairhead, is odds-on to become the first woman to permanently chair the BBC Trust after it emerged she was the Government's pick to replace Chris Patten.
A senior Whitehall source revealed that Ms Fairhead was all but certain to take the £110,000 job, barring a major upset or being blocked by MPs.
The appointment will not be regarded as politically neutral as she is an independent adviser to the Cabinet Office. Her husband, Tom, was a Conservative councillor for Kensington and Chelsea from 1994 until he retired in 2010.
Under the terms of the BBC Royal Charter, the appointment of the BBC Trust's chair and members is made by the Queen on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, through the Prime Minister.
Ms Fairhead, who turned 53 on Thursday, will go in front of the Commons' Culture Select Committee on 9 September for pre-appointment scrutiny and will then be recommended by the Government. Other rumoured candidates to chair the governing body included David Dimbleby, Sir Howard Stringer and Lord Coe, who ruled himself out last month.
Diane Coyle, economist and former adviser to the Treasury, has been acting trust chairman since Lord Patten left the role in May. He had held the post for three years but resigned on medical advice following major heart surgery.His time in the job was turbulent, with the Jimmy Savile scandal and a row over senior-staff payoffs. In 2012, his choice of director-general, George Entwistle, left after just 54 days.
Ms Fairhead will face her first major test as chair when negotiations on the BBC's Royal Charter begin after the general election. It is believed the BBC Trust will face reform as part of the process.
She has a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and was chief financial officer for FTSE 100 giant Pearson from 2002 to 2006. She then ran the company's Financial Times Group until last year.
Ms Fairhead was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012, and this year was appointed a British Business Ambassador.
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...