The BBC's most senior executive position is that of Director General.
The DG heads the board which is responsible, under the direction of the trustees, for implementing the corporation's charter and charter agreement.
Section 44(1) of the charter agreement requires the BBC to ".....ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output."
Here are the two DG's who ran the BBC for most of the time since the Labour party took office in 1997:-
John Birt - BBC Director General 1992 - 2000
John Birt was Director General of the BBC from 1992 to 2000.
At the time of his appointment he was a paid up member of the Labour party.
According to fellow broadcaster Peter Bazalgette writing in the Observer :- "....his streak of ruthlessness helped turn the BBC from an organisation derided by the Tory government into the most powerful political lobby in Britain. As the political pendulum swung towards the Labour party in the mid-Nineties, Birt anticipated it brilliantly."
Greg Dyke - BBC Director General 2000-2004
Greg Dyke was Director General of the BBC from 2000 to 2004.
He had been a lifelong Labour activist.
In 1977 he stood as a Labour candidate for the Greater London Council.
In the run up to the 1997 election he reportedly donated over £50,000 to the Labour party.
When he was appointed, according to the Guardian, a Number 10 insider said "We loved Greg. We loved the idea of Greg."
So for the last 15 years or so, the BBC has had a declared Labour supporter as either Chairman or Director General - or both.
Must make all that impartiality a bit of a struggle sometimes!
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