HC Deb 22 February 1993 vol 219 cc671-2
12. Mr. Mullin

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he expects to appoint the next chairman of the Independent Television Commission; and what procedure he will follow.

Mr. Brooke

Sir George Russell's current term of appointment as chairman of the Independent Television Commission runs out on 31 December 1994. Sir George is proving an excellent chairman of the ITC. It is much too early to consider succession issues.

Mr. Mullin

May I put it to the Secretary of State that Sir George is proving a not very adequate chairman of the ITC—[Interruption.] I put that as generously as I can. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is widespread anxiety, both in commercial television and at the ITC, about the failure of that organisation to monitor the disastrous impact of the Broadcasting Act 1990 on commercial television and about the wide gap between promise and performance in the franchise applications?

Mr. Brooke

The second half of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question did not reinforce, sustain or provide a rationale for the first half. He was making a subjective judgment. As he well knows, these are early days. I have every confidence in the ITC.

Mr. Stephen

Will my right hon. Friend make it clear to the chairman of the ITC that our constituents expect him to take firm action to stop the constant flow of pornography, violence and degradation into their homes through the television screen?

Mr. Brooke

I realise why my hon. Friend raises that matter. In certain considerations, it obviously falls to the ITC to take action. In others, it is the responsibility of the ITC to offer advice and for other action to be taken.