My report to the CMS Committee regarding Rona Fairhead

I have today, at the invitation of Jesse Norman, sent the email below to all members of the Culture Media and Sport Committee, regarding my concerns over the corrupt appointment of Rona Fairhead to the post of Chair of the BBC Trust. I hope they take me seriously.

Dear Committee

I am submitting evidence at the invitation of Jesse Norman into the irregular appointment of Rona Fairhead to the position of Chair of the BBC Trust.

The appointment was a rushed political appointment by David Cameron and Sajid Javid following my disclosure that the FCA had colluded with HSBC to lie and cover up a major fraud affecting 5-600,000 consumers. Jesse Norman partially dealt with this when he was at the TSC and questioned Martin Wheatley of the FCA about the matter – The behaviour of the FCA is the subject of a complaint to the Complaints Commissioner. I have recieved his preliminary decision (in my favour) and am awaiting his final decision.

Regarding the appointment of Rona Fairhead I believe that this was hurriedly decided after I had exposed the collusion in a blog on 30 June last year –

I have made various FoIA requests to the DCMS for evidence that the recruitment of the Trust Chair job was put to tender, as required with any procurement over £10,000. To date they have not been able to provide any evidence. In the event the work went the firm, Saxton Bampfylde, where the BBC DG’s wife Cynthia Hall is a partner. The contract value was £36,000.

Rona Fairhead had never previously been in the running for the post and all press reports at the time focussed on shortlisted candidates, amongst whom Rona Fairhead was not listed. It is against the Code of Conduct for the Minister to add any names to the shortlist. Rona Fairhead has no previous broadcast experience and it came as a shock to most commentators that she had been appointed. I submit that the reason is that she was, and remains a director of HSBC. Apart from the propriety of that, since her appointment the BBC has declined to cover adverse stories affecting HSBC (apart from the Swiss tax affair, which was in the public domain anyway). See –

It is my submission that the appointment was irregular at the very least. All the circumstantial evidence is available on this blog

I would urge you to investigate this situation as a matter of urgency as I am sure you will appreciate it has wide implications for freedom of speech and BBC impartiality.

I will be happy to give oral evidence if required. As is my practice, in the interests of transparency, I will post this email on my website.

Yours faithfully.
Nicholas Wilson