BBC men front of the queue to be Theresa May’s new comms chief

Written by David Singleton on 4 July 2017 in Diary

Insiders say it’s James Landale versus Robbie Gibb.

Having trashed much of his legacy, it now looks like Theresa May could follow in David Cameron’s footsteps after all.

By hiring a heavyweight BBC journalist to be her new communications director.

While Cameron employed ex-BBC producer Craig Oliver in the job for much of his premiership, May has been without a communications director since Katie Perrior quit at the start of the general election and Fiona Hill was forced out afterwards.

TP recently revealed that May was considering giving the top communications post to Downing Street strategy director Chris Wilkins. He has been filling in over recent weeks, but the word in Westminster is that Wilkins is not up for the job on a permanent basis.

Rather, Downing Street sources have indicated that BBC diplomatic editor James Landale and the BBC’s political programmes supremo Robbie Gibb are the front runners.

Gibb is editor BBC's Daily and Sunday Politics programmes and executive editor of the Andrew Marr Show and This Week. He is also the brother of Tory schools minister Nick Gibb.

Landale is the BBC’s former deputy political editor who got the scoop that Cameron would not serve a third term. And he is an old Etonian.

It is too early to say which man – if either – will end up in Number 10. But if Landale does get the nod then it could be good news for one Tory cabinet minister who is hoping to seize the crown.

Last year, Landale advised May to be a bit nicer to Boris Johnson.

"To do his job, Britain's diplomat-in-chief needs of every bit of credibility he can lay his hands on," wrote the BBC journalist.

"He is already the butt of many jokes. The last thing he needs is his prime minister adding to the mirth."



Picture credit: PA

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