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Chris Patten

Chris Patten attends a mass with newly appointed cardinals held by Pope Francis at St Peter's Basilica on February 23, 2014 in Vatican City. Image: Getty

Chris Patten keeps failing upwards – now he’s advising the Pope. Poor Pope.

10 July 2014 8:24

There is a wearying inevitability to the announcement that Pope Francis’s reforms of the Vatican media will be overseen by Lord Patten of Barnes. Of course it was going to… Continue reading

64 Comments
‘Dripping wet’ Chris Patten. Image: Getty

The millions in EU funding the BBC tried to hide

28 February 2014 17:41

Over the last three years the BBC has secretly obtained millions of pounds in grants from the European Union. Licence fee payers might assume that the Corporation would have been compelled… Continue reading

124 Comments
It is not yet clear why  key evidence about ex-BBC Director General Mark Thompson was excluded from Nick Pollard's £3 million review of the BBC's handling of the Savile affair. (Photo PA)

The Pollard penny drops for Lord Patten

12 December 2013 12:48

When the Pollard Report into the BBC Jimmy Savile abuse affair was published in December 2012, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten confidently told a press conference: ‘As far as we’re… Continue reading

18 Comments
It is not yet clear why  key evidence about ex-BBC Director General Mark Thompson was excluded from Nick Pollard's £3 million review of the BBC's handling of the Savile affair. (Photo PA)

James Harding’s right: the BBC must do some ‘accountability journalism’, but on the Savile scandal report

5 December 2013 12:13

Director of BBC News James Harding made a fascinating speech on Wednesday, setting out his mission statement for the Corporation’s newsroom: ‘Let’s start with holding people to account. In the offices… Continue reading

30 Comments
It is not yet clear why  key evidence about ex-BBC Director General Mark Thompson was excluded from Nick Pollard's £3 million review of the BBC's handling of the Savile affair. (Photo PA)

A mysterious Patten emerging

22 October 2013 18:22

Lord Patten, the Chairman of the BBC Trust, rarely looks thrilled when being scrutinised, but he was particularly grumpy in front of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee today.… Continue reading

11 Comments
Ken Clarke has drawn a line in the Europe debate between those who are interested in the possible and those who aren't. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ken Clarke the pragmatist suspends his pugilism over EU

18 June 2013 14:29

It’s said that Ken Clarke would cross a motorway to pick a fight with a political opponent. His aggression is one reason why he thrived (eventually) under Mrs Thatcher: ambulance… Continue reading

27 Comments
The new BBC DG Tony Hall. Photo: Getty/Suzanne Plunkett/Bloomberg News

Tony Hall appointed Director General of the BBC

22 November 2012 12:04

It seems that Lord Patten has been reading the Spectator: Lord Hall, the BBC’s former director of news and the man who revolutionised the Royal Opera House, has been appointed Director General… Continue reading

63 Comments
Oxford students call on Lord Patten to devote sufficient time to being Chancellor of Oxford University during the BBC crisis. Image: Getty.

Oxford students: Chris Patten needs to devote time to being our Chancellor

14 November 2012 15:54

As students at Oxford University, we are told repeatedly by tutors, proctors, and the Chancellor himself that we’re not allowed to do much outside our degree. We cannot do more… Continue reading

25 Comments
Abu Qatada smiles as he evades deportation once again in April 2012. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GettyImages)

The BBC saga distracts from Abu Qatada deportation and bail decision

12 November 2012 13:20

The decision to award George Entwistle a £1.3 million payoff appears, as my colleague Rod Liddle notes, to have misjudged the public mood (and indeed the mood of the majority… Continue reading

11 Comments
George Entwistle's payoff is another example of how distant BBC management is from viewers and junior staff. Image: Getty

George Entwistle’s parting gift

12 November 2012 9:50

Have to say, I wish I’d got a year’s salary plus pension when I made an, er, dignified resignation from the BBC. The outgoing DG, George Entwistle, will receive an… Continue reading

88 Comments
The BBC is in complete chaos this morning. Image: Getty

Chaos at the BBC

12 November 2012 9:13

The BBC crisis continues to dominate the airwaves. George Entwistle’s £1.3 million payoff has set outraged tongues wagging. Tim Montgomerie has collected the furious comments made by several Tory MPs.… Continue reading

67 Comments
Everyone's shooting the BBC. Amusing, maybe, but we may come to regret it.

A crisis, yes. But let’s not all shoot the BBC.

11 November 2012 10:51

I have just returned from two hours of broadcasting on the BBC World Service. It is an odd time to be inside the BBC, not least because reporters from the… Continue reading

126 Comments
Chris Patten gave a strong performance on the Andrew Marr Show, demonstrating that he had a grip on the crisis. Image: Getty.

Chris Patten claims he has a ‘grip’ on the BBC’s crisis

11 November 2012 10:23

Chris Patten has just appeared on the Andrew Marr Show to discuss the resignation of George Entwistle and to evaluate its fallout. Patten conceded that the BBC is mired in… Continue reading

74 Comments

Chris Patten: a big disappointment all round

27 September 2011 12:08

Chris Patten has held almost every great and good job the great and the good can offer: Governor of Hong Kong, Companion of Honour, European Commissioner, Chancellor of the University… Continue reading

22 Comments

The university funding debate continued

16 August 2010 17:58

University funding is beginning to dominate op-ed pages. Yesterday, Matthew d’Ancona put the case for a graduate tax from the conservative perspective; and to which Douglas Carswell has responded. Today,… Continue reading

11 Comments

Is the real love affair between Fat Pang and Dave?

29 July 2010 18:30

We know that Chris Patten is advising David Cameron over the Pope’s visit – the Spectator interviewed him in that capacity recently. But a number of events this week suggest… Continue reading

47 Comments