Tim Suter, a former managing director of weekly programmes at the BBC, was criticised in Lord Dyson’s report last week into how Bashir landed his 1995 interview with Princess Diana and a subsequent BBC cover-up.
Mr Suter, 64, played a key role in the internal investigation that concluded that Bashir’s actions were ‘absolutely straight and fair’.
Ofcom announced on Friday that Mr Suter was stepping down ‘with immediate effect’ from its board and as the chairman of its separate content board, which sets and enforces quality and standards for television and radio. Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes said: ‘We would like to thank Tim for his contribution.’
In April 2017, under a new BBC charter and agreement, Ofcom became the first independent, external body to regulate the BBC in the Corporation’s history. A statement issued at the time said Ofcom’s role was ‘to hold the BBC’s performance and editorial standards to account’.
However, Mr Suter’s departure has raised new questions about the oversight of the BBC. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said last night: ‘Mr Suter appears to have been a poacher turned gamekeeper and that will reinforce people’s belief that Ofcom is a toothless regulator.’