THE man named as Tony Hall's replacement as director general of the BBC was a local Conservative official in the 90s before joining the broadcaster, it has emerged.

BBC Studios boss Tim Davie stood as a councillor for The Conservative Party in Hammersmith in 1993 and 1994.

He was deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative party in the 1990s, raising questions about his ability to hold the Tory Government to account in his new role.

Other contenders were reported to be BBC director of content Charlotte Moore, former Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis and Amazon executive Doug Gurr.

READ MORE: BBC names Lord Hall's successor as director general

Davie will earn £525,000 a year when he takes over the post, down from the £600,000 he earned in 2018/19.

Davie was acting director-general for four months following George Entwistle's resignation in November 2012 before Lord Hall's appointment, and previously served as the corporation's head of audio.

Before joining the BBC in 2005, he worked in marketing at PepsiCo Europe and Procter and Gamble.

“Yes, he has been loyal, and he is very able and has a lot of drive,” a former BBC executive who used to work with Davie told The Guardian. “But he wasn’t an inspired choice. I feel it would have been better for the BBC if the job had gone to someone from outside the corporation.”

Davie, who will take over the job on September 1, said: "I am honoured to be appointed the BBC's next director-general.

"This has been a critical time for the UK and these past few months have shown just how much the BBC matters to people. Our mission has never been more relevant, important or necessary. I have a deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality.

"Looking forward, we will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences in this fast-moving world. Much great work has been done, but we will continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant. I am very confident we can do this because of the amazing teams of people that work at the BBC."

Davie's appointment comes during tough times for the broadcaster. During the last General Election Boris Johnson and the then culture secretary Nicky Morgan questioned whether the current licence fee arrangement had become dated.

The idea of decriminalising non-payment of the fee has subsequently been mooted and Davie will have work to do to convince senior politicians that the BBC’s income should continue to be protected under the current arrangement.

Plans to bring in means-testing for free licence fees for the over-75s have attracted criticism from organisations including Age UK. The introduction of the new system has been delayed until the start of August because of the pandemic.

READ MORE: BBC under fire over TV licence direct debit plan

Davie will be tasked with trying to attract a younger audience to the BBC. Last year broadcasting watchdog Ofcom warned the corporation was at risk of losing “a generation of viewers” if it could not engage with them.

The BBC also faces an ongoing row about the impartiality of its coverage and senior presenters. Emily Maitlis and Naga Munchetty have become embroiled in controversies on the issue.

READ MORE: Emily Maitlis row exposes BBC's outdated obsession with 'due impartiality'

Earlier this year Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the corporation must avoid providing a “narrow urban outlook” and make sure it has “genuine diversity of thought and experience”.

This year the BBC also announced that plans to “modernise its newsroom” would lead to 450 job cuts as part of a drive to save £80 million. However, the move has been put on hold because of the pandemic.