The Queen has approved the appointment of Lord Patten of Barnes as the Chairman of the BBC Trust and Diane Coyle as Vice Chairman of the BBC Trust.
Notes to Editors
The BBC Trust is the governing body of the BBC, and is responsible for representing the interests of licence fee payers. It applies the principle of public value in holding to account the Executive Board, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of the BBC. The Trust also ensures that the BBC’s activities are not anti-competitive and are consistent with a vibrant and dynamic broadcasting market.
Lord Patten of Barnes CH, is currently Chancellor of Oxford University. He was the former Governor of Hong Kong. Before that he was a Member of Parliament and held a number of ministerial positions including Secretary of State for the Environment and Minister for Overseas Development. In November 1990 he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chairman of the Conservative Party. He was appointed Governor of Hong Kong in April 1992, overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China. He was Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland set up under the Good Friday Peace Agreement. Lord Patten was European Commissioner for External Relations from 1999 to 2004. He took his seat in the House of Lords in January 2005. He is Co-Chair of the UK-India Round Table and an Honorary Fellow of Balliol and St Anthony’s Colleges at Oxford. He was Chancellor of Newcastle University from 1999 to 2008, and was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003. He has published several books on international affairs. He is a Companion of Honour.
Diane Coyle is a serving member of the BBC Trust. She is an economic consultant specialising in new technologies and globalisation and was a member of the Competition Commission from 2001 to 2009. She is a frequent commentator on radio and television and has written many books and articles on economics including The Economics of Enough and The Soulful Science. She was the Economics Editor of The Independent newspaper where she worked from 1993 to 2001 and has a PhD from Harvard.
The BBC Trust is led by the Chairman and has 11 other members including the Vice-Chairman. All members are responsible for representing the public interest as a whole. The Trust includes four members formally designated as members for each of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.
The appointments have been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Lord Patten declared that he was a Conservative MP from 1979-1992. That he is currently Member of the House of Lords and taking the Conservative whip. He declared that if appointed as Chairman of the BBC Trust he would resign the party whip and sit as a cross-bencher. He also declared his role President of my local Conservative party Association, Richmond Park. Diane Coyle has not carried out any significant political activity within the past five years.
For the first time the role of Chairman of the BBC has been subject to a pre appointment scrutiny hearing. Lord Patten appeared before the hearing by the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee on 10 March. In their report, published on 12 March, the committee endorsed his appointment.
The posts at the BBC Trust are remunerated at a rate of £110,000 per annum for the Chairman and £70,610 per annum for the Vice-Chairman.