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Lord Patten set to head BBC Trust

Former Conservative chairman set to replace Sir Michael Lyons at BBC's governing body.

Lord Patten is set to be named as the new head of the BBC Trust, the body which governs the broadcaster.

The expected announcement follows an apparent recommendation by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt that the former Conservative chairman should replace Sir Michael Lyons, who leaves the role in May.

This is despite earlier reports that Hunt had campaigned against Lord Patten's appointment.

Both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Prime Ministerial sources have refused to comment on the appointment, but an announcement is expected soon.

A DCMS spokesman said: "The appointment process for the chair of the BBC Trust is ongoing. We will not comment on speculation at this stage."
"We expect to be in a position to announce the preferred candidate in late February or early March."

Lord Patten, 66, who is currently chancellor at Oxford University, has previously served in Margaret Thatcher's administration and was formerly the governor of Hong Kong.

He has been largely absent from frontline politics for a number of years.

As chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten will oversee the broadcaster's budget, business plan and monitor the BBC's standards and complaints made against it. The trust does not interfere with the daily production of programmes.

His announcement will be confirmed if he passes a scrutiny hearing on 10 March.