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Patten confirmed as Government's choice for BBC Trust chairman

Chris Patten, the former Conservative minister and governor of Hong Kong, has been confirmed as the Department for Culture Media and Sport's preferred candidate for the position of chairman of the BBC Trust.

Chris Patten: the DCMS' choice for BBC Trust appointment

Chris Patten: the DCMS' choice for BBC Trust appointment

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Lord Patten, who is currently chancellor of Oxford University, emerged as the Government’s preferred candidate to succeed current chairman Michael Lyons, last week.

The DCMS today (25 February) confirmed that Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, has informed John Whittingdale, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, of his preference for Patten to take on the role.

The committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing with Patten on 10 March. Its conclusions about his suitability will be considered by Hunt, who will then decide whether to proceed with the appointment.

Under the terms of the BBC Royal Charter, the appointment of the BBC Trust chair is made by the Queen on recommendation from ministers, and the secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, through the prime minister.

Lyons’ term as the first chairman of the BBC Trust, the corporation’s governance body set up in 2007 to replace the board of governors, will end on 30 April.

Prior to the General Election, Hunt said the Conservatives would abolish the BBC Trust, whose structure has been criticised for being both the regulator and the cheerleader of the BBC.

Two days ahead of the confirmation of the new licence fee settlement, Lyons announced he would not seek another term in office, citing the "demanding" workload of the role.

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