Former BBC boss criticises Nadine Dorries but says her instincts are ‘not wrong’

·2-min read

A former BBC boss has criticised Nadine Dorries and her string of “gaffes” in the role as Culture secretary, but says some of her instincts are “not wrong”.

Roger Mosey, who was appointed head of BBC News in 2003, said Dorries appointment to the position by Boris Johnson was “punishment in itself” but that the “substance of her policies was worse”.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Mosey remarked on decisions made on the BBC licence fee, the privatisation of Channel 4 and the Online Safety Bill.

“The Johnson government was particularly torrid for our public service media, and it would be better for us all if the next prime minister takes a more constructive approach,” he said.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone less suitable for the job than Nadine Dorries.

“Her gaffes ranged from confusing rugby union with rugby league, to talking about tennis ‘pitches’ and ‘downstreaming’ movies.”

He added: “The substance of her policies was worse… and yet, some of Dorries’s instincts are not wrong.”

Boris Johnson resignation
Roger Mosey said the Culture secretary’s appointment to the position by Boris Johnson was ‘punishment in itself’ (James Manning/PA)

Mosey agreed that the licence fee was an “out-of-date idea”, and that during the ongoing UK cost-of-living crisis “we should not be jailing non-payers”.

He added that Channel 4 has “strayed from its mission of distinctiveness” with “endless property shows and series of Come Dine with Me”.

“Dorries is also correct that the BBC has been poor at reflecting the views of the entire country, and that groupthink in editorial meetings is damaging,” he said.

“London is still way too dominant in its power to make decisions about what we see and hear, and there is an unquestionable metropolitan bias.

“The new PM will have the chance to change course – let’s hope they take it.”

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