Wales

BBC Board Wales candidate vetoed by Welsh Government

BBC sign

The Welsh Government has vetoed the preferred candidate to represent Wales on the new BBC Board.

The members for England and Scotland were confirmed on Thursday.

But a UK government source said the Welsh Government had "seen fit to veto the secretary of state's choice of candidate".

The Welsh Government said its primary concern was to ensure the BBC Board "properly represents the needs of the people of Wales".

The new board comes into existence on 3 April and will be responsible for overseeing a strong and independent BBC.

It will be made up of 14 members, including four non-executive members who will represent each of the devolved nations.

The Culture Secretary Karen Bradley chose the candidate for Wales but she was overruled by the Welsh Government.

'Deeply unsatisfactory'

While the candidate's identity has not been revealed, they are understood to have significant experience in broadcasting and governance.

A Welsh Government spokesman said while they were unable to agree with the secretary's choice, they have made it clear "there remain appointable candidates on whom we can agree".

He said it was "unfortunate the secretary has been unwilling to have a proper dialogue with them".

"The latter stages of this process have been deeply unsatisfactory and we believe it is in both Wales and the BBC's interests that we now reopen the process," the spokesman added.

It could take several months before a new candidate can be shortlisted and appointed, leaving the new board without a Welsh representative as it begins its work.

The UK government source said that the candidate's credentials had previously been approved by Welsh Government officials when their name was initially suggested by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The source added that the Welsh Government's intervention had "raised eyebrows" in Whitehall as it is highly unusual for a decision to be vetoed in an area where powers had not been devolved.

The appointment process has now been reopened.