Charles Moore has pulled out of the race to become next BBC chairman following fierce backlash over his extreme racist and homophobic views.
The ex-Telegraph editor and former boss of the prime minister was reported to be Boris Johnson’s top choice for the media role, and after six weeks of wrangling over pay and conditions The Times reported that his appointment was “virtually a done deal”.
The news of this “unashamed cronyism” drew outrage from commentators and cast a spotlight on Moore’s well-documented history of homophobia and racism in the pages of the The Telegraph and The Spectator.
The LGBT+ activist Peter Tatchell called the potential appointment “a slap in the face of the LGBT+ community”.
“Given his notorious homophobic views, Charles Moore is unfit to chair a public service broadcaster,” he argued in The Guardian. “The BBC is bound by equality law, but he apparently does not believe in equal rights for the LGBT+ community.
“He has shown no commitment to impartiality, diversity and equality, which are core BBC values.”
As criticism grew and BBC bosses were challenged on their refusal to condemn Moore’s controversial views, including the idea that same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality, Moore announced he would be ruling himself out of the role.
It’s understood that he has decided against even applying for the job, citing personal and family reasons.
According to The Times the BBC would have been forced to inflate its typical chairman’s salary to at least £280,000 to attract him to the role, a move which would have infuriated BBC staff facing cuts, as well as critics of the high pay at the corporation.
Had he accepted, Moore would have earned three times as much as the current chairman David Clementi, who earns £100,000 a year while working an average of three days per week. Moore was expected to increase that to four days to justify his bumper pay package.
As the hunt for BBC chairman continues, Paul Dacre, the former editor of the Daily Mail, remains the prime minister’s choice to become chairman of the broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
In his 26 years at the helm of the paper Dacre was responsible for countless homophobic headlines, including the infamous front page splash: “Abortion hope after ‘gay genes’ finding”.