The right-wing former editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, is set to be appointed by the Prime Minister as chair of Ofcom, the powerful TV and telecommunications regulator.
Media reports indicate that the 72 year old, who has been heavily criticised for his former paper’s coverage of Muslim and immigrant issues, will also be awarded a peerage and will have a remit to target the BBC.
If appointed, this means Dacre will have oversight over the many Muslim channels which broadcast on the various satellite platforms in this country.
Under his leadership, the Daily Mail set out a strong pro-Brexit agenda that played a key role in affecting public opinion over the country’s divorce from the European Union.
Dacre is still editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail Group – publisher of the right-leaning daily newspaper, and the Mail on Sunday, the London free title Metro and the MailOnline website.
Ofcom staff, in contrast, are supposed to adopt struct political neutrality.
During Dacre’s tenure the Daily Mail was forced to apologise and pay damages to many Muslim activists.
In 2019 it apologised and paid substantial damages to a Muslim university student who it falsely claimed was a cheerleader for terrorist groups.
In the same year the Daily Mail apologised to UK-based charity Interpal after falsely accusing it of funding a “hate festival” in Palestine which acted out the murder of Jews.
In 2017 the Daily Mail apologised to Dr Khalid Fikry after Katie Hopkins’ wrongly accused him of advocating the murder and rape of Sunnis.
The paper has also launched many attacks against mainstream British Muslim activists. For example, in 2016 it launched a full-frontal attack on advocacy group CAGE because of its opposition to the Prevent counter-terrorism agenda.
CAGE called the attack a sign of success for those who remain deeply concerned with and united against the government’s failing counter-terrorism programme.