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Former Tory MP appointed to S4C board

09 Apr 2021 2 minute read
Former Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb. Picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

A former Tory MP has been appointed to the board of S4C.

Guto Bebb has been installed in the post to oversee the Welsh language channel by the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden.

Bebb, who lives in Caernarfon, is the Group Managing Director of the Farmers Union of Wales and was the MP for Aberconwy between 2010 and 2019.

The former MP did not stand for reselection as a Conservative candidate in the 2019 general election because he was unhappy with the party’s direction and said that it was “appealing to the type of nationalism that has seen UKIP grow in the past, and the Brexit Party”.

He also told BBC Radio Cymru that Boris Johnson would be a “disastrous” prime minister.

Bebb is a former Under Secretary of State for Wales, a former Procurement Minister at the Ministry of Defence and was a Senior Government Whip in both the Cameron and May administrations.

‘Appointed alongside’ 

He has been appointed alongside the former CEO of Welsh Water Chris Jones, the former Commercial Director for YouGov Adele Gritten, Denise Lewis Poulton, a corporate affairs specialist who has worked for Bell Canada, Cable & Wireless Communications and Orange plc. They have all been appointed to four-year terms.

The appointments have been made at a Westminster level because broadcasting is currently not under the control of the Senedd.

However, there have been increasing calls to devolve control over S4C and other public service Welsh language broadcasting matters to Wales.

This includes a cross-party report by the Senedd’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, which reached a “unanimous” conclusion.

The inquiry examined how Wales’s voice can be strengthened, especially in decisions around funding and setting the remit of services including the licence fee-funded public service broadcasters BBC Cymru Wales, S4C and ITV Wales, as well as commercial radio licences.

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