Former spin doctor set to join BBC after slamming 'woke' broadcaster

Theresa May’s Number 10 communications director Sir Robbie Gibb joins BBC board after blasting broadcaster for being ‘culturally captured by woke-dominated groupthink of its staff’

    A former Downing Street spin doctor has joined the BBC’s board despite previously criticising the ‘woke-dominated groupthink’ of its staff.

    Sir Robbie Gibb, 57, served as Theresa May’s communications director for two years between 2017 and 2019.

    Following his political career, Sir Robbie slammed the broadcaster and its ‘woke-dominated’ and ‘left-leaning’ staff.

    The former journalist, who worked for the national broadcaster for 25 years, was appointed to the paid role by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

    He will start serving his three-year term as the board member for England on May 7.

    Sir Robbie Gibb, (right) was Theresa May’s spin doctor between 2017 to 2019. Before that, he had a 25-year career as a journalist with the BBC

    Since leaving frontline politics, Sir Robbie argued BBC bosses were ‘fearful of causing offence to woke activists’ in a Telegraph comment piece last August. 

    He wrote: ‘The BBC has been culturally captured by the woke-dominated groupthink of some of its own staff. 

    ‘There is a default Left-leaning attitude from a metropolitan workforce mostly drawn from a similar social and economic background.

    ‘Once the gold standard of impartial, fair and accurate news, BBC journalists are increasingly letting their political preferences show.

    ‘Over the past decade, the BBC has drifted away from its purpose and the people it serves.’ 

    But speaking after his appointment today, Sir Robbie adopted a more optimistic tone for the future. 

    Last year, Sir Robbie slammed BBC chiefs and ‘woke-dominated’ and ‘left-leaning’ staff at the Corporation

    ‘Throughout my time at the BBC and since leaving I have always believed that impartiality should be the BBC’s number one priority because it is so critical to audience trust.

    ‘The Corporation has a big job to reform and make sure it once again becomes the gold standard for broadcasting impartiality – I am privileged to have the chance to play a part in helping the BBC achieve that.’

    The brother of schools minister Nick Gibb, he has also accused Radio 4’s Today programme of painting a ‘picture of Britain that is monstrously out of touch’. 

    In January 2020, he added: ‘There is growing mistrust over BBC impartiality — not just among politicians but with whole swathes of the public.’

    Sir Robbie was knighted in Mrs May’s resignations honours list in 2019.

    Before entering frontline politics, Sir Robbie was deputy editor of BBC Newsnight and editor of The Daily Politics and This Week. 

    While in Whitehall he was criticised as a ‘hard Brexiter’ trying to destroy Mrs May’s search for compromise during wranglings over the EU exit. 

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