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DCMS Chair: ‘Ofcom appointment ridiculous soap opera’

March 7, 2022

By Colin Mann

Following correspondence from the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the appointment of a new Chair for Ofcom, DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP criticised the continuing delays to the process.

“Another week, another new instalment of suspense in the ridiculous soap opera that is the race to become Ofcom’s new Chair,” he declared. “The Committee is not after a behind-the-scenes commentary on the appointment process, but this latest cliff-hanger from the DCMS Department – which cannot or will not even tell us how many people have applied to audition for the starring role – does make you wonder whether we are heading for a happy ending. According to the Permanent Secretary, all possible opportunities to get the best cast of characters for the next stage have now been exhausted. Anyone who has been following this long drawn-out saga will know that feeling of exhaustion all too well,” he concluded.

The Permanent Secretary’s letter said that whilst the competition was ongoing, the DCMS did not wish to increase speculation on the process and in line with comments by the Committee and the Commissioner for Public Appointments on the benefits of minimising media speculation, it would not be providing a running commentary on candidate numbers.

“The campaign is progressing to interviews over the coming week, and we hope to be able to announce a preferred candidate in the near future to enable pre-appointment scrutiny by this Committee at the earliest possible opportunity,” she advised.

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