BBC chairman salary set for £60,000 increase to attract ‘credible’ candidates

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The Cabinet Office has published an official application for the position despite reports Downing Street has already approached some for the role. And it appears the salary has increased to attract “credible” candidates.

When Sir David Clementi was appointed in 2016, the salary was cut to £100,000 but now it has been increased by £60,000 for a part-time “3-4 days per week” role.

Secretary of State Oliver Dowden told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee he was looking for a “strong, credible figure who can hold the BBC to account”.

He also said he is “particularly concerned to ensure that the BBC returns to its core values of impartiality”.

Mr Dowden said a successful candidate must answer the question: “Does the BBC as much reflect the values of somebody living in a semi in Leigh outside Manchester as they do someone living in a loft apartment in Old Street, London?”

Some of the names already tipped to apply for the role includes Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun, and Sir Robbie Gibb, the former head of communications for Theresa May.

However, the former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore is understood to have withdrawn his interest for the role.

Although candidates will be assessed by a panel headed by Sarah Healey, Permanent Secretary at the DCMS, it will be Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has the final say.

The BBC has faced ongoing criticism over recent months after scrapping free TV licences for most over-75s.

Three million more households now have to pay £157.50 for a colour licence and £57 for a black and white licence.

Anyone caught watching television without a licence can be fined up to £1,000 in addition to court costs.

And Mr Dowden indicted to MPs the government could retreat from a hint to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee.

He said: “I do think there are major challenges around decriminalisation which we will continue to consider.

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“I am concerned that…we do not send a signal that it’s acceptable not to pay your TV licence.

“I also think there are wider questions around the funding of the BBC from 2022 to 2027 and we have to consider those points as well.”

Last month, BBC staff were warned by the new Director-General Tim Davie the future of the corporation was in doubt.

In a bid to make a clear cut from the past, Mr Davie demanded the corporation renew its image of impartiality and warned staff if they are unable to avoid being bias, they should not be working at the BBC.

He warned staff he will be taking action in coming weeks and revealed there will be new guidance on how to best deliver impartiality.

Mr Davie also announced he wanted a “radical shift” in the focus of the BBC as it attempts to reconnect with viewers who feel alienated by the corporation.

He also added there was no room for complacency in the future and said the BBC’s future was at stake.

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