Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

James Harding looks forward to expressing a ‘clear point of view’ after quitting as BBC news director

Mr Harding is believed to have become frustrated at the constraints imposed by the BBC’s impartiality and plans to launch a new media venture

James Harding

    (BBC)

    James Harding, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, has announced he is quitting his job to begin a new journalism venture.

    Mr Harding, who is Jewish, had been one of the frontrunners for the next director-general of the corporation.

    He is believed to have become frustrated at the constraints imposed by the BBC’s impartiality and pledged that the new media company he intends to set up would have a ”clear point of view”.

    He will leave the BBC in January after nearly five years in the £340,000 a year job – having previously become the first Jewish editor of The Times.

    At a meeting with staff on Tuesday he said: “This is a moment and a chance to do it, and if I don’t do it now, I never will.”

    His new company is expected to focus on comment and analysis – with the fall-out from Brexit set to drive much of the output.

    Last month Mr Harding took part in the Board of Deputies annual dinner, interviewing Scottish Opposition leader Ruth Davidson, who has been mooted as a possible future Tory leader.

    In 2011 at an event organised by the JC at the JW3 centre, Mr Harding declared his support for Israel.

    He said:  “I am pro-Israel. I believe in the State of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper [The Times] with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.”

    Mr Harding grew up in north-west London as the grandson of a German Jewish refugee.

    Educated at St Paul's in Hammersmith, one of the top private schools in London, and Cambridge, where he got a first-class history degree, he started his journalistic career at the Financial Times in 1994.

    He went on to work in China and then become the FT's media editor.

    RELATED STORIES

  • UK News

    Davidson praises Israel trade growth

    Daniel Sugarman

    Friday, September 15, 2017

    Davidson praises Israel trade growth
  • UK News

    BBC's Harding to chair JC 175 event

    Anonymous

    BBC's Harding to chair JC 175 event
  • UK News

    Berger: I want to give the Jewish community a new political home

    Lee Harpin

    13:19

    Berger: I want to give the Jewish community a new political home
UK News

More MPs 'considering' leaving Labour

Lee Harpin

Yesterday, 21:08

More MPs 'considering' leaving Labour
UK News

Labour activist leading online attacks on Luciana Berger has links to neo-Nazi website

Lee Harpin

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Labour activist leading online attacks on Luciana Berger has links to neo-Nazi website
UK News

University distances itself from academic who appeared on David Icke show

Lee Harpin

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

University distances itself from academic who appeared on David Icke show
Comment

Solidarity with Luciana

Lee Harpin

Yesterday, 16:03

Solidarity with Luciana
UK News

Jewish councillor quits Labour over 'disgraceful' treatment of Berger

Lee Harpin

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jewish councillor quits Labour over 'disgraceful' treatment of Berger
UK News

Senior Labour lawyer 'is member of hard-left, anti-IHRA group'

Lee Harpin

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Senior Labour lawyer 'is member of hard-left, anti-IHRA group'
UK News

Revealed: McDonnell's meetings with Rothschild conspiracy theorist

Lee Harpin

Yesterday, 14:30

Revealed: McDonnell's meetings with Rothschild conspiracy theorist
UK News

'JLC trustees had no choice but to refer report on Jeremy Newmark's spending to police'

Lee Harpin

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

'JLC trustees had no choice but to refer report on Jeremy Newmark's spending to police'
UK News

Labour MPs write to Corbyn demanding Shadow Cabinet vote

Lee Harpin

Monday, February 11, 2019

Labour MPs write to Corbyn demanding Shadow Cabinet vote