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Former Times editor takes the role of BBC news director

    James Harding, former editor of the Times, has been confirmed as the new director of news and current affairs at BBC.

    Mr Harding, who has previously expressed his views on the pressures of being a Jewish editor, is due to commence his new role in August.

    The member of Belsize Square synagogue said in a statement: "The BBC's newsroom strives to be the best in the world, trusted for its accuracy, respected for its fairness and admired for the courage of its reporting. I am honoured to be a part of it."

    BBC director general Tony Hall said: "James has a very impressive track record as a journalist, editor and manager. I believe he will give BBC News a renewed sense of purpose as it moves away from what has been an undeniably difficult chapter. As an organisation, the BBC will also benefit from his external perspective and experience which he will share as a member of the BBC's executive team."

    When Mr Harding became editor of the Times in 2007 he was thought to be only the fifth Jewish editor of a national paper in recent times.

    He will replace Helen Boaden, who is expected to become director of radio.

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