A senior BBC TV editor has been appointed as Theresa May’s new communications director, sparking a row over the public broadcaster’s impartiality.
Robbie Gibb, who runs the BBC’s political programmes, replaces Katie Perrior, who left Downing Street before the election.
Her LinkedIn profile says that is currently “most definitely no longer the Director of Communications to the Prime Minister”.
The embattled prime minister has been considerably weakened by the election result and the departure of her two chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy.
May’s press secretary Lizzie Loudon also left before the election though she was replaced.
Gibb tweeted it was a “privilege to work for the BBC” adding: “I will always be a supporter because of its values and commitment to impartiality.”
Gibb, whose brother is Tory MP Nick Gibb, edited the Daily and Sunday Politics programmes, hosted by Andrew Neil.
It was previously reported Gibb and BBC Diplomatic Editor James Landale were being considered for the role, though Landale later said he had turned the job down.
The announcement immediately immediately triggered comments on the BBC’s impartiality.
Ed McMillan-Scott, a former Tory and Lib Dem MEP, said Gibb would be “more suited to May’s Brexit bunker than the BBC’s supposedly ‘balanced’ politics output.”
Earlier, ex-BBC journalist Robert Peston jokingly tweeted that the names apparently being considered meant the “Tory charge that the BBC is a den of lefties proved yet again!”
Jeremy Corbyn’s former spokesman Matt Zarb-Cousin tweeted: “Good luck, you’re gonna need it chief.”
BBC journalists have held the job before. Craig Oliver was David Cameron’s communications director from 2011 to 2016, having worked at the News At Ten.