A twist in the saga surrounding the political past of recently-appointed BBC director-general Tim Davie. The ascension of Davie to the top job at the Beeb in June aroused a considerable degree of suspicion among the corporation’s not insubstantial number of lefties on account of his Tory history. While a student at Cambridge University, Davie was part of his college Conservative society and – shock horror! – stood as a councillor for the Tories in 1993 and 1994 in Hammersmith and Fulham. He was also deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative party around this time.
But The Corridor hears Tim’s Tory ties are thicker than has been reported. A 1997 Tory election toiler tells us he distinctly remembers Davie being based in Conservative Central Office’s Smith Square headquarters for the duration of the doomed campaign while on secondment from PepsiCo where he was working in marketing. “He worked on party messaging and communication during the election,” says our source. Davie oversaw Pepsi’s celebrated ‘Project Blue’ can logo design change in 1996 but he evidently had less success persuading the electorate to stay blue a year later. Davie severed his political ties in the late 1990s to concentrate on his career which took him to the Beeb as director of marketing, communications and audiences in 2005. Given the fate that befell the Tories in 1997, can you blame him?