Donation 'should bar Carlton chief'

THE INDEPENDENT Television Commission faced calls yesterday for Michael Green, chairman of Carlton Communications, which won the London weekday ITV franchise, to be ruled out as the next chairman of Independent Television News (ITN).

The call came after the disclosure in yesterday's Independent on Sunday that his private company, which owns most of his shareholding in Carlton, donated pounds 15,000 to the Conservative Party in the year to last April.

Although the date of the payment is not known, that financial year covered much of the period between February and October 1991 when the ITV franchises were being decided, and the run-up to the general election.

Peter Mandelson, Labour MP for Hartlepool, and a former adviser to the BBC, yesterday called on Sir George Russell, the chairman of the Independent Television Commission, to declare immediately that Mr Green would not be acceptable as the new ITN chief.

The 45-year old head of Carlton, which also owns 20 per cent of Central, the Midlands ITV company that itself owns a similar stake in Meridian in the south of England, has been trailed as the likely new chairman of a consortium seeking to take over ITN.

Mr Mandelson said that the donation 'should disqualify him from taking on the ITN post because ITN's political independence and impartiality is vital to the future of British democracy'.

Carlton itself, like other major ITV companies, makes no donations, a spokesman said yesterday. 'We are an ITV company and have to be independent of all political parties.'

This week, Gordon Brown, Labour's shadow Chancellor, will highlight the links of Conservative MPs and former ministers with the banks and privatised utilities.

Bank dividends and executive pay have risen by 50 per cent over a period when customers have paid 60 per cent more in charges, Mr Brown said. 'While customers have been struggling, the banks have awarded themselves significant increases in both dividends and executive hand-outs,' he said yesterday.

That came at a time when 20 MPs were advisers or directors to banks, he said. The party's 'cosy relationship with the banking establishment resulted only in cosy chats with the Chancellor, but no action' over charges.

Entrenched Conservative interests were harming individuals, Mr Brown added, as Labour will again spell out the extent to which former ministers have gone on to benefit from board membership or advisory roles in utilities or companies that they regulated or helped to privatise.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Recruitment Genius: PA

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...

Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness