Lord Patten 'preferred candidate' for BBC Trust job

Image caption,
Lord Patten will attend a pre-appointment hearing on 10 March

Lord Patten, the former governor of Hong Kong, has been confirmed as the government's preferred candidate to be the next chairman of the BBC Trust.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt put the 66-year-old forward after six candidates were interviewed by an independent panel.

The Culture, Media & Sport Committe will hold a pre-appointment hearing with Lord Patten on 10 March.

Sir Michael Lyons, the current chairman, will step down on 30 April.

In a statement, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said: "The Committee's conclusions will be considered carefully before deciding whether or not to proceed."

The appointment will finally be made by the Queen under the BBC's royal charter, which is in place to establish the Corporation's independence from government and parliament.

Chris Patten, now Lord Patten of Barnes, served as environment secretary under Margaret Thatcher.

He was later Tory chairman during John Major's premiership, before overseeing the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule as governor.

He served as a member of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004 and has been chancellor of the University of Oxford since 2003.

Sir Michael Lyons replaced Michael Grade as Trust chairman in 2007 and announced last year he would not seek a second four-year term in May.

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