Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has been approached by Boris Johnson as chairman of Ofcom. This is the latest example of Downing Street's determination to stir up the left establishment.
The attempt to install Mr Dacre at the Broadcasting Authority comes from Whitehall mandarins trying to curb the Prime Minister's efforts to appoint Charles Moore – a BBC Brexiteer critic – as the company's next chairman.
The Sunday mail announces that Mr Dacre, 71, who edited the Daily Mail for 26 years through 2018, was courted earlier this year by Mr Johnson for drinks at No. 10 and asked to consider a successor to Lord Burns.
He will step down soon after agreeing to leave this year rather than completing his four-year term in 2022.
Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has been approached by Boris Johnson as chairman of Ofcom. This is the latest example of Downing Street's determination to stir up the left establishment
The attempt to install Mr Dacre on the Broadcasting Authority comes with Whitehall mandarins trying to curb the Prime Minister's efforts to appoint Charles Moore (pictured) – a BBC Brexiteer critic – as the company's next chairman
During the ongoing talks with Downing Street, Mr Dacre said he was interested, subject to the "representations" of "freedom and independence".
The combination of Lord Moore as BBC chairman with Mr Dacre at Ofcom would be received with dismay at the BBC.
During his tenure with the Daily Mail, Mr Dacre railed against the company's bloated bureaucracy and leftist bias – but also said he would "die in a ditch" to keep it, hoping it would be saved from itself could.
Lord Moore, the former editor of The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, was debunked in this newspaper last week as Mr Johnson's preferred candidate for BBC chairman.
He has since accepted an approach to replace Sir David Clementi when he stepped down in February and has discussed the terms of the contract.
However, officials from the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport have complained to No. 10 that the position needs to be officially advertised in order to follow "due process".
Sunday's mail announced that Mr Dacre, 71, who edited the Daily Mail for 26 years through 2018, was courted by Mr Johnson (pictured) for drinks at No. 10 earlier this year and asked for a successor to Lord Burns ponder
It takes place in the midst of an ongoing battle between Downing Street and Whitehall as Johnson's influential aide Dominic Cummings wages war on officials' power to obstruct Operation No. 10.
Lord Moore, 63, is a strong critic of the company's "Leftwing Woke Values" and contradicts its guaranteed £ 4 billion a year revenue from royalties.
In 2010, he was fined £ 262 for not owning a license after trying the equivalent amount in protest of the BBC's refusal to fire Jonathan Ross for making prank calls with comedian Russell Brand with actor Andrew Sachs donated to charity.
Mr Johnson's allies complain that the civil service selection protocols instituted by Jeremy Heywood as cabinet secretary have forced candidates to "jump through tires" to ensure the selection of "members of the same left cabal".
Ofcom, which regulates the broadcast, telecommunications and postal industries, will be at the center of government efforts to curb the power of online giants like Facebook, which have used their power to cannibalize the revenues of traditional media companies.
It is understood that Mr Dacre was brought up because Mr Johnson wanted a candidate with a history of support for freedom of expression and press and a determination to curb the huge digital monopolies.
Mr Dacre, who was instrumental in the editorial launch of Mail Online, the world's largest newspaper website, is tasked with making sure the online giants pay other media outlets – and local newspapers in particular – for the content they recycle.
Mr Dacre also spearheaded the launch of Metro, the UK's most widely read paper, and led a government review that successfully recommended reducing the 30-year rule of keeping government documents secret to 20 years To shorten.
The appointment of Mr Dacre would mean a cultural shift for Ofcom: Ed Richards, a former executive director, wrote a Labor manifesto for Tony Blair and was a former director of corporate strategy at the BBC.
In another slap for the BBC this weekend, its combative current affairs presenter Andrew Neil announced he was leaving the company to lead rival GB News, which is expected to begin airing early next year.
Neil is a close friend of Sir Robbie Gibb, former Theresa May's communications director, who led the fundraising effort for the new channel last month, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The BBC had discussed a new series of interviews with Mr Neil, but the deal was "too late" for Mr Neil, who will present the new station's flagship evening program and chairman of the company.
The position of BBC chairman is formally a royal appointment on the recommendation of the Secretary of Culture.
However, Downing Street will have the final say.
A government spokesman said: “We will shortly begin the application process for the new Chairman of the BBC.
The recruitment process is open and all public appointments are subject to strict and fair selection criteria. & # 39;
The Ofcom Chairmanship process is expected to open next month.
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