BBC politics chief Robbie Gibb named as Theresa May's new director of communications

BBC insiders say Mr Gibb is ‘very pro-Brexit’

The BBC’s Head of Operations at Westminster is the new Number 10 Director of Communications
The BBC’s Head of Operations at Westminster is the new Number 10 Director of Communications

Robbie Gibb, the BBC’s head of operations at Westminster, has been named as Theresa May’s new director of communications.

Mr Gibb, who has been with the BBC for 23 years, said on Twitter: “I am pleased to announce I will be leaving the BBC to join the prime minister, Theresa May, as her new director of communications.”

He has edited the Sunday and Daily Politics programmes for several years, and serves as Executive Editor for other programmes including Andrew Neil’s This Week, leaving him at least partly culpable for extremely stale jokes about Blue Nun wine and some curious Michael Portillo shirt choices.

Robbie Gibb’s brother Nick is a junior education minister.

It was on a programme edited by Mr Gibb that junior Labour minister Stephen Doughty resigned on air, as part of a wave of resignations aimed at bringing down Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne directly accused Mr Gibb of bias. Mr Gibb’s letter in response was published on the BBC website, which said: “I reject your suggestion that we orchestrated and stage-managed the resignation of Stephen Doughty.”

Colleagues of Mr Gibb describe him as a “Brexiteer”. In 2001 he worked on Michael Portillo’s campaign for the Conservative leadership.

Previous holders of the role are the ex News of the World editor Andy Coulson and former BBC News chief Sir Craig Oliver, who left shortly after David Cameron announced his resignation.

Mr Gibb replaces Katie Perrior, who left shortly before the election campaign. She has since been fiercely critical of Theresa May’s former joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who took over the media aspects of the Prime Minister’s general election campaign, and resigned the morning after the disastrous election result.

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