Lord Patten has been approved by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee as a "suitable candidate" for the role of chairman of the BBC Trust.

Approval for the former governor of Hong Kong and past chairman of the Conservative Party was officially published in a report at the weekend, following Patten's appearance in front of the committee on Thursday. Patten was named as the government's preferred candidate last month.

In the report the committee said it was "surprised that Lord Patten's knowledge of the BBC's output on television and radio is limited" but confirmed he was considered a suitable candidate.

The committee also suggested that Patten should reduce his commitments, with other responsibilities including his chancellorship of Oxford University; membership of the House of Lords and advisory roles in relation to BP, Bridgepoint and Hutchinson Whampoa.

MPs on the committee added that they are concerned about the time Patten has available for the role, which is expected to take between three and four days a week, "especially given the context of Sir Michael Lyons resignation letter, which suggested that the time needed to effectively carry out the role was greater than the time available". Patten assured the committee that the role of chairman would be a priority.

The report states Patten reassured members that "he was willing and able to maintain the independence needed for role of chairman of the BBC Trust", despite "strong affiliations" with the Conservative party.

If confirmed as chairman, Patten will receive an annual payment of £130,948, a reduced rate following an 8.3 per cent pay cut for trustees.

The government will now seek royal charter for Patten to replace the current chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons, who is due to leave the role he has held for the past four years next month.

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