THE Welsh and Scottish governments have demanded that Nadine Dorries gives the devolved nations a role in selecting the next chair of the UK’s broadcast regulator.

In a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, ministers from both devolved governments asked to be included in the process of selecting the next Ofcom chair and given a role that ensures the selected candidate is “someone who can work impartially and independently in the interests of all the nations”.

“Given the importance of public service broadcasting to our nations and the real impact for our nations of any decision on selecting the Ofcom chair which is not transparent or impartial, we urge you to involve us fully in the process as is right to protect a system which is so important to the public in Scotland and Wales and all the UK,” the letter added.

READ MORE: Research shows TV and Facebook lead the way in finding out news about Wales

The two-page document, which is signed by the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts Dawn Bowden, and its Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, as well as Angus Robertson, the Scottish Culture Secretary, and Kate Forbes, Scotland’s Finance and Cconomy Secretary, expressed concern the prolonged process “might adversely affect the standing of the public service broadcasting system whose duty is to serve all the nations”.

The letter said: “Given the significance of the role of the Ofcom chair, both in leading the regulator and in overseeing the public service broadcasting system, in particular how the BBC fulfils its public purposes for all the UK, it is natural the devolved nations have a strong interest in how the chair is selected and how our interests are protected.

READ MORE: Actor and director to work on devolving broadcasting to Wales

“We are extremely concerned about the perceived lack of impartiality and transparency of the current appointment processes at Ofcom. Appointment processes that are tarnished, or perceived to be so, might impact on the authority of Ofcom to regulate public service broadcasting for the benefit of all the nations.

“Having written to your predecessor to highlight our expectations for a fair, impartial and transparent appointment process, we now feel the need to go further.

“We would ask that we are brought in to the current Ofcom chair process and given a role that ensures the selected candidate is someone who can work impartially and independently in the interests of all the nations. Involving the devolved governments would return credibility to an appointment process that has been tarnished by delays and questions about the real independence of those involved.”

The letter said the UK processes, including public appointments being run by the department, were “failing to show due respect for the role and rights of the devolved governments”.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been approached for comment.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.