Oliver Dowden denies corruption over Ofcom chair application process

Oliver Dowden, the Conservative party chair has denied claims the selection process for the new Ofcom chair is rigged in favour of the government’s preferred candidate.

It has been reported that the Prime Minister is keen for former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre to fill the position, something the government has not denied.

When Dacre was rejected by the interview board earlier this year Dowden, then culture secretary, reopened the process and re-drafted the job requirements.


The minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that this back and forth was proof that  “it is a proper, independent process. Because had it not been a proper, independent process, if it was the case that Paul Dacre was our preferred candidate, he would currently be chair of Ofcom.”

When accused of shifting the rules to favour Dacre, Dowden argued: “There were various issues with that process which led me to re-running, not least we had a very, very small field of people that were were found eligible, a small number of people that applied for it. So I thought it was appropriate to run the process again.”