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Thursday, August 13, 2020

He looks for Chief Ofcom again at the drawing board as the BBC and broadband climb Boris’ agenda

TThe communications watchdog Ofcom was sent back to the drawing board in his hunt for a new CEO after Downing Street raised concerns about plans for the appointment of a career civil servant.

In the last sign of determination in n. 10 to shake the official domain and the BBC, the government has refused to approve the regulator’s favorite candidate and has started a search for leaders beyond Whitehall.

Baroness Morgan, secretary of culture, has taken personal approaches to industry leaders to encourage them to run for the role, which was left free by Dame Sharon White late last year.

Insiders said the move reflects the desire of Boris Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, to bring new perspectives to the government.

Regardless of the government, Ofcom’s new CEO will play a key role in parts of the Prime Minister’s political agenda, making the appointment of his next chief potentially crucial for conservatives.

The regulator is at the center of attempts to review the telecommunications market to provide a national broadband update within five years. Achieving the ambitious goal was one of the prime commitments of the Prime Minister’s election campaign.

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