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Nicky Morgan, George Osborne 'rule themselves out of BBC chair job'

Nicky Morgan, George Osborne 'rule themselves out of BBC chair job'
© Reuters
Baroness Nicky Morgan and former chancellor George Osborne reportedly decide not to run for the post of BBC chairman, leaving the path clear for Rishi Sunak's former boss Richard Sharp.

Former Tory heavyweights Baroness Nicky Morgan and George Osborne have pulled out of the race to succeed Sir David Clementi as the chairman of the BBC.

The government is in the process of finding a replacement for Clementi, who steps down from the post in February, as the BBC - celebrating its 100th birthday in 2022 - enters a crucial period that will determine its long-term future.

Reports this month have suggested that former culture secretary Morgan - now sitting in the House of Lords - and ex-chancellor turned Evening Standard editor Osborne were in the frame for the key post but according to The Times, both have signalled that they have no intent of applying.

The news paves the way for Richard Sharp, current chancellor Rishi Sunak's former boss in the city, to take over as chairman.

Sharp is a known lover of the arts but would likely take the position of a "tough friend" of the BBC if he gets the job, encouraging the organisation to modernise and adapt in a world of streaming services such as Netflix.

Applications for chairman are open until mid-November, with the first interviews taking place in early December and culture secretary Oliver Dowden potentially making the appointment before Christmas.

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