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Former BBC Trust vice-chair condemns "brutal" government treatment of Rona Fairhead

William Turvill
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New BBC Trust Chairman Rona Fairhead Arrives For First Day At Work
Rona Fairhead announced her resignation from the BBC Trust last night (Source: Getty)

The former vice-chair of the BBC Trust has bemoaned the “pretty brutal” treatment of Rona Fairhead after she resigned from her role as chair of the organisation last night.

Fairhead has been chair of the regulation body since October 2014. With the Trust due to be scrapped, she was set, with the approval of the previous government under David Cameron, to take on the same position at the newly created BBC unitary board.

Read more: Rona Fairhead quits as BBC Trust boss after PM orders appointment re-run

But new Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been not "overly impressed" with Cameron's handling of the appointment and wanted Fairhead to re-apply for the role.

Fairhead, a former chair and chief executive of the Financial Times Group, announced her departure from the Trust last night.

Read more: Government set to make BBC reveal pay packets of stars on more than £150k

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, former Trust vice-chair Diane Coyle said this was an “extraordinary turn of events” and said it indicated another “erosion of BBC independence”.

“The process is always pretty brutal, the way politicians and the way officials doing their job go about these things [and] never use the same kind of respectful processes that occur in the private sector, for example.”

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