BBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead to exit after intervention from Theresa May

Rona Fairhead
Rona Fairhead. Getty

Rona Fairhead is to stand down as the chairman of the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, after two years

The former Financial Times Group chief executive revealed her intentions in a statement to The Financial Times.

Separately, a BBC Trust spokeswoman confirmed the news to Business Insider.

Fairhead was told in May by former prime minister David Cameron’s government that she could stay on as chairman of a new BBC governance board, which forms part of sweeping governance changes at the corporation next year.

But in a u-turn, new prime minister Theresa May told Fairhead last week that she would have to re-apply for the position.

“The prime minister strongly encouraged me to take part in the new appointment process, for what would be a new four-year term as BBC chairman,” she told the Financial Times.

“However, after much thought I have come to the conclusion that I should not do so. It is my belief that it will be better to have a clean break and for the government to appoint someone new.”

Fairhead will remain in post until the governance changes are made. This will involve abolishing the BBC Trust and creating a powerful new board that will govern the British broadcaster.

Fairhead added: “I took on leadership of the Trust to help stabilise, strengthen and develop the BBC following a very difficult period in its history and through charter review. I am proud of what I and my colleagues, both at the Trust and the BBC, have accomplished during the past two years.”

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