Rhodri Talfan Davies' concern over appointment of BBC board plan

Rhodri Talfan Davies

Proposals for the UK government to appoint most members of a new BBC board are a "concern", BBC Cymru Wales' director has said.

Rhodri Talfan Davies said the BBC was "not a state broadcaster and we must never be a state broadcaster".

His comments follow a review which recommended replacing the BBC Trust with a board of directors, half appointed by government ministers.

Mr Davies said the broadcaster must maintain its distance from government.

At a discussion about the review of the BBC Charter organised by Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre, Mr Davies said: "There is clearly concern at the proposal that the majority of the members of the unitary board might be appointed by the UK government.

"I have a very simple view on this - we are not a state broadcaster and we must never be a state broadcaster.

"And so I think there needs to be a very careful look at that, because I think the trust of the audiences is absolutely essential.

"This is not a board that sits semi-detached from the BBC, this is a board right at the heart of our editorial decision-making, and ensuring that the integrity of that board and its distance from government is clear to everyone I think is really essential."

Mr Davies' comments echo those of the director general Lord Hall, who has said that the BBC was "one of the world's great public service broadcasters - not a state broadcaster."

The BBC's charter is due for renewal at the end of this year.

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