AN avowed Brexiteer with close ties to the Conservatives has been appointed to the BBC’s board.

Robbie Gibb, who previously worked as Theresa May’s communications director in Downing Street and has claimed the BBC has been “captured by the woke”, will sit on the corporation’s board as its “England Nation Member”.

The BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan said the “appointment clearly strengthens the BBC's links not just with Westminster, but with the Conservative Party specifically”.

Robbie Gibb’s brother Nick is the Tory MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton and a minister in Boris Johnson’s government, having previously been in both David Cameron and Theresa May’s.

The National: Nick Gibb is the Tory minister for school standards and Robbie Gibb's brotherNick Gibb is the Tory minister for school standards and Robbie Gibb's brother

According to the BBC’s report on the appointment, Gibb “had a successful 25-year career” at the corporation. This saw his work as head of BBC Westminster, and editor of live political programmes, as well as deputy editor of BBC Two’s Newsnight.

However, Gibb worked as chief of staff to Tory life peer Francis Maude between 1997 and 2000, when Maude was shadow chancellor.

One former Tory party official and donor who reportedly knows Gibb well told The Telegraph in 2017: "He worked for Francis Maude for a long time and has been in and around the Conservative party. He is very bright. He is a tiger."

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Gibb also supported Michael Portillo in his 2001 bid to become the leader of the Tory party.

Richard Sharp, a Tory donor who has given over £400,000 to the party and previously worked with Chancellor Rishi Sunak at Goldman Sachs, recently became the BBC’s new chair.

Tim Davie (below), a man who previously ran for the Tories in local elections and was deputy chair to a local Conservative party, became BBC director-general in 2020.

The National: Tim Davie

Gibb has written scathingly of the BBC in recent years, accusing it of having been “culturally captured by the woke-dominated group think of some of its own staff” in a Telegraph article from 2020.

In that same piece, Gibb wrote: “It seems BBC bosses were so fearful of causing offence to woke activists who claimed the song [Rule, Britannia!] was racist, they ended up outraging the vast majority of the public who are proud of their country, its heritage and its traditions.”

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The BBC said that the decision had been taken to play the song without the words in order to try and slow the spread of Covid caused by voice projection.

Three days into Davie’s tenure as director-general, the decision to omit the words of the song was reversed.

Gibb praised Davie for this U-turn and has widely expressed support for his new BBC social media policy. Gibb argues that BBC employees should make efforts not to reveal their political affiliation in any way.

However, he himself is a Brexit supporter who tweeted that he would be voting Leave while still in the employ of the corporation.

The National:

Gibb was also reportedly heavily involved in raising funds for the GB News channel which has yet to launch, but will include shows presented by Andrew Neil and Neil Oliver.

According to reports in The Mail on Sunday in 2017, it was Gibb who was keen on getting Andrew Neil involved with the channel.

Gibb was also one of the people who tweeted in anger after Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty mocked Tory minister Robert Jenrick for having a Union flag in the background during an interview.

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He said the BBC Breakfast clip revealed “a sneering and cynical attitude towards our monarchy and flag that shows it’s not just about where people are based, the BBC has a wider cultural problem”.

In an article for The Telegraph, Gibb called for “a cross-BBC steering group” to be established by the corporation’s board which would look into producing “Ofsted-style reports into individual programmes and how the BBC is handling a particular running story”.

Gibb also works as a senior communications adviser for the consultancy firm Kekst CNC and as a director of The Jewish Chronicle. He will continue in these roles.

Gibb will join the board on May 7. The base fee for all BBC non-executive directors is £33,000 per annum.