News, Culture & Society

BBC revolt after former Theresa May aide blocks appointment of left-wing editor to top news job 

BBC revolt after former Theresa May aide and current board member blocks appointment of left-wing ex-Huffington Post editor to top news job

  • Robbie Gibb who worked for Theresa May is said to have blocked Jess Brammar  
  • Alleged he feared appointing ex-HuffPost editor would damage trust with Gov
  • Labour has written to BBC bosses demanding the resignation of Sir Robbie Gibb

The BBC was in revolt last night over a bid to halt the appointment of a senior journalist who has shared Left-wing views on social media.

Sir Robbie Gibb, who was former Tory PM Theresa May’s communications chief and now sits on the BBC board, is said to have intervened to block Jess Brammar.

It is claimed he feared appointing ex-HuffPost UK editor Miss Brammar as executive news editor – overseeing global and domestic news channels – would damage trust with the Government.

It is claimed he feared appointing ex-HuffPost UK editor Miss Brammar, pictured, as executive news editor would damage trust with the Government

Sir Robbie Gibb, who was former Tory PM Theresa May¿s communications chief and now sits on the BBC board, is said to have intervened to block Jess Brammar

Sir Robbie Gibb, who was former Tory PM Theresa May’s communications chief and now sits on the BBC board, is said to have intervened to block Jess Brammar

The intervention of Sir Robbie, who previously held senior BBC roles, has reportedly stalled the appointment. 

A senior BBC News source last night told the Mail: ‘It’s a very unwelcome intervention – totally inappropriate and damaging.’ 

They claimed Miss Brammar was ‘still in play’ for the job. Labour has written to BBC bosses demanding Sir Robbie’s resignation.

Deputy party leader Angela Rayner wrote: ‘Putting pressure on the recruitment process of staff is entirely outside of the remit of the board and a total abuse of position.’ On Twitter she attacked ‘Tory cronyism at the heart of the BBC’.

However, a BBC spokesman stressed no process had been blocked, adding: ‘It is essential that board members can debate and discuss issues. They have an absolute right to do so. What individual board members can’t do is make decisions which are for the executive.’ 

Hundreds of posts by Miss Brammar – like Sir Robbie, a former deputy editor of Newsnight – have been deleted from Twitter. A source close to her explained they are automatically removed after a month.

But some of her old tweets have emerged, including one which accused Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage of a ‘sleight of hand’ by persuading people they represented ‘outsiders’. 

In another tweet she claimed there was an ‘influential camp’ at No10 which ‘doesn’t want to reach out to minorities and work with them’. 

Sir Robbie also reportedly has concerns about the way Miss Brammar handled a row with Treasury Minister Kemi Badenoch when she was UK editor of HuffPost.

A BBC spokesman stressed no process had been blocked, adding: ¿It is essential that board members can debate and discuss issues. They have an absolute right to do so. What individual board members can¿t do is make decisions which are for the executive.¿

A BBC spokesman stressed no process had been blocked, adding: ‘It is essential that board members can debate and discuss issues. They have an absolute right to do so. What individual board members can’t do is make decisions which are for the executive.’

Labour has written to BBC bosses demanding Sir Robbie¿s resignation after his alleged intervention

Labour has written to BBC bosses demanding Sir Robbie’s resignation after his alleged intervention

Last night Tory MP Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, described the row as a ‘storm in a teacup’. He said Sir Robbie, the brother of Conservative MP Nick Gibb, was ‘doing his job’ in letting the BBC know ‘where it should think politically in terms of what it does’.

He accused Labour of ‘politicising’ the situation.

Sir Robbie, pictured, was the head of the BBC’s political programme output, including Daily and Sunday Politics and The Andrew Marr Show, before leaving in 2017 to become Mrs May’s Director of Communications.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk