BBC’s new Director General Tim Davie is warned to reform the broadcaster or he could be fired

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BBC’s new Director General Tim Davie is warned to reform the broadcaster or he could be fired if he fails to address No10’s concerns about anti-­Tory bias

  • Senior Government sources have said that Tim Davie could be fired in February
  • It would come when the Government appoints a new chairman of broadcaster
  • It will be if he fails to address No 10’s concerns about anti-Tory bias at the BBC

Senior Government sources say that Tim Davie could be fired when the Government appoints a new chairman in February if he fails to address No 10’s concerns about anti-Tory bias at the BBC

The BBC‘s new Director General has been warned he could become one of the shortest occupants of his post if he fails to reform the embattled corporation.

Senior Government sources say that Tim Davie – who was awarded the job this month – could be fired when the Government appoints a new chairman in February if he fails to address No 10’s concerns about anti-Tory bias at the BBC.

It means Mr Davie, who replaces Tony Hall in September, could be the second shortest-serving Director General in history, following the embarrassing resignation of George Entwistle, who lasted just 54 days in the job after failing to deal with the Jimmy Savile scandal in 2012.

Among those being tipped to replace Sir David Clementi when his term ends next year are former Tory Cabinet Ministers Nicky Morgan and George Osborne.

Mr Davie, 53, has been charged with taking over the BBC as it enters its centenary year in 2022. Under BBC rules, the Director General is chosen by its government board while its chairman is appointed by the Government.

Mr Davie was unveiled amid Tory suspicions that Mr Hall’s departure had been brought forward so the BBC could install their ‘own man’ as DG before a new BBC chairman is named next year.

No 10 is understood to be giving the marketing expert six months to prove he is serious about reforming the BBC.

It means Mr Davie, who replaces Tony Hall in September, could be the second shortest-serving Director General in history, following the embarrassing resignation of George Entwistle, who lasted just 54 days in the job after failing to deal with the Jimmy Savile scandal in 2012. Pictured: New Broadcasting House in London

It means Mr Davie, who replaces Tony Hall in September, could be the second shortest-serving Director General in history, following the embarrassing resignation of George Entwistle, who lasted just 54 days in the job after failing to deal with the Jimmy Savile scandal in 2012. Pictured: New Broadcasting House in London

A senior Government source said: ‘The proof will be in the pudding with Davie. It is good he has highlighted his commitment to impartiality and the need to ‘accelerate change’.

‘There are two camps at the BBC – those who think that because the pandemic has boosted their audience they don’t need to change, and those who recognise they still do and that we are serious about looking at licence fee decriminalisation. We hope that Davie is in the latter camp.’

As head of the BBC board, the new chairman would have the power to seek to replace Mr Davie if he or she wanted to bring in a ‘DG’ considered more committed to addressing claims of bias and exploring licence fee alternatives.

A BBC executive said: ‘We have got Tim in so he can prove himself before Clementi’s term ends.’

The BBC declined to comment but sources said Mr Davie had spoken of his ‘deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality’ when appointed.

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