Conservative peer Lady Noakes has agreed to stop posting political tweets after Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman complained they harmed the impartiality required to be an Ofcom deputy chair.
Following Harman dubbing Noakes “a Tory stooge” in an open letter to culture secretary Sajid Javid complaining that the tweets breached Ofcom’s legislated requirement for impartiality on Thursday, a spokesperson for the deputy chair admitted the comments “were not appropriate” for an Ofcom board member, according to the Guardian.
Ofcom chair Patrician Hodgson, in a letter to Javid said that lady Noakes is “resolutely committed to ensuring [Ofcom’s] independence" and that “[the] political nature of some comments on her personal Twitter account were not appropriate from someone who is a member of the Ofcom board".
Hodgson added: "Whilst, as a board member, [Noakes] remains able to express her opinions publicly on a range of matters, she had already agreed with me to refrain from public comments of a political nature while she remains a member of the Ofcom board."
Below are some of the tweets which sparked the incident, including recent comments on Labour and Ed Miliband's leadership.
— Sheila Noakes (@1SVN) January 21, 2015
— Sheila Noakes (@1SVN) January 11, 2015
Hoakes also mocked Ukip leader Nigel Farage by sharing her score on from Ukik, an Android app which tasks players with booting the UK Independence Party leader off the British Isles.
— Sheila Noakes (@1SVN) January 17, 2015
The debacle comes after Sharon White was appointed as chief executive of Ofcom in December.