BBC news: Fierce backlash as George Osborne ‘tipped for BBC chairman role’ | UK | News

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Supporters of the former chancellor are understood to be encouraging him to apply for the job which was advertised earlier this week. Insiders say the Government is keen to appoint a Conservative amid claims of left-wing bias at the broadcaster. Ministers have already agreed to boost pay for the part-time role to £160,000 a year to try to entice a broader range of candidates.

And one source claimed they could even lift the salary cap to as much as £280,000 a year to secure Mr Osborne’s signature.

But Mr Osborne, who edited the Evening Standard newspaper until last June this year after quitting as a Conservative MP in 2017, would be a divisive figure if appointed if the reaction on social media is anything to go by.

Former BBC presenter Andrew Neil cast doubt on the reports that Mr Osborne could become the corporation’s next chairman.

He tweeted: “I bet he’s not.”

Others felt his position on Brexit should rule him out.

One tweeted: “No one who advocated remaining in the EU can ever hold a position of responsibility again.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the Commons culture select committee he was looking for “a strong, credible figure who can hold the BBC to account” and is “particularly concerned to ensure the BBC returns to its core values of impartiality”.

He told MPs the 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?”