Monday 23 August 2021 9:15 am

BBC set to tap Jess Brammar as news chief despite ‘bias’ row

The BBC is poised to appoint Jess Brammar as its new head of news despite an online backlash against so-called ‘left-wing’ views.

Brammar, former editor-in-chief of Huffpost UK and previously deputy editor of Newsnight, is expected to be appointed to a new role overseeing the broadcaster’s news output.

It comes despite criticisms that the news chief aired left-wing views on social media. Sir Robbie Gibb, a member of the BBC board, has intervened to try and block the appointment, saying it would raise concerns about the corporation’s commitment to impartiality. 

Gibb is a former BBC journalist who also served as Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s Head of Communications.

He is also said to have warned BBC news and current affairs director Fran Unsworth that she could not make the appointment and that the government’s “fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered” if she did.

A source told the Mail on Sunday that the move would also raise questions about director general Tim Davie, who put impartiality at the centre of his agenda when he took over the top job last year.

“Up until this point, everyone has given Tim Davie the benefit of the doubt,” the source said. “This is now raising questions about how committed he really is to improving impartiality.”

The row relates to a series of tweets posted by Brammar during her time at Huffpost, including criticisms of Boris Johnson, Brexit and Britain’s imperial past.

She also waded into a row with Kemi Badenoch last year after the Treasury minister attacked a Huffpost reporter as “creepy and bizarre” for asking questions about a Covid vaccination video.

Brammar stood by her reporter for asking legitimate questions of Government figures.

The BBC declined to comment on the recruitment process.