Review finds BBC Trust ‘should be abolished and oversight passed wholly to Ofcom’


The BBC Trust should be abolished and the corporation should be regulated externally, an independent review has said.

David Clementi, who led the review into how the BBC is governed, said the trust was “flawed” and called for “fundamental reform”.

Oversight of the corporation should be “passed wholly to Ofcom”, according to the report, which was commissioned by the UK government in light of a series of scandals to hit the BBC in recent years.

They included its handling of the Jimmy Savile abuse allegations, Lord McAlpine’s libel claim over false child abuse allegations, and the furore over Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s 2008 phone call to actor Andrew Sachs.

Clementi said: “Following consultation with a wide range of interested parties, and a detailed assessment of the options, I have concluded that there should be a fundamental reform of the system of governance and regulation for the BBC.

“The BBC Trust model is flawed. It conflates governance and regulatory functions within the trust.
“Regulatory oversight should pass wholly to Ofcom, which is already the public service regulator for the UK’s broadcasting industry and has the ability to look at the BBC in the context of the market as a whole.

“Ofcom would be a strong regulator to match a strong BBC.”

In response to the report, BBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead said: “David Clementi proposes a strong BBC board and a strong external regulator – a change we have argued for.
“It will be important to get the details right, and we now want to work with the Government to ensure roles are clear, the structure is effective and the BBC’s independence protected.”

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