Wales politics

BBC board veto by Wales unreasonable, says UK minister

Matt Hancock
Image caption Matt Hancock says "no good reason" for the Welsh Government's action was given

The UK Government has hit back in a row over the appointment of a Welsh representative to the new BBC board.

Broadcasting Minister Matt Hancock said Welsh ministers gave "no good reason" for blocking the UK Government's nomination of businesswoman Carol Bell.

Mr Hancock called Welsh ministers' veto "unreasonable" and "very unfortunate".

He said the Welsh Government's representative previously agreed the UK government's choice was "appointable" and had sat on the interview panel.

The row has left an empty chair on the board.

Without naming Dr Bell, Mr Hancock told his Labour shadow Kevin Brennan in a written parliamentary answer: "We hope the Welsh Government will withdraw their objection, which is entirely unreasonable.

"A new competition will be run as soon as possible."

Image caption Dr Carol Bell has had board and trustee roles with S4C, National Museum Wales and the Wales Millennium Centre

Mr Hancock said :"The Welsh minister for lifelong learning and Welsh language [Alun Davies] wrote to the secretary of state for culture, media and sport stating that the Welsh Government was unable to endorse the preferred candidate, despite the Welsh Government representatives having deemed the candidate as appointable at interview.

"This is very unfortunate, and no good reason has been given."

Last week, Mr Davies described UK ministers' handling of the matter a "textbook example" of how not to deal with such things.

Dr Bell, a former member of S4C's governing authority, has said she will not be commenting on the matter.

More on this story