That Telegraph piece by Bruce Anderson also makes it clear that those who expressed scepticism about John Whittingdale's much-touted eagerness to 'screw' with the BBC (as Tony Hall put it) were correct:
John Whittingdale, the new Culture Secretary, is a sound Right-winger and a devoted Thatcherite. So when he was appointed, the BBC trembled. Were the Tories about to take their revenge on the corporation for decades of Left-wing bias? There were reports that the Prime Minister had told his new colleague to “sort out” the BBC. But any BBC executive who entertained such fears might well have been reassured by yesterday’s Telegraph interview with Mr Whittingdale.
No, the PM had not given him those instructions. He had no intention of privatising the BBC, still less abolishing it. There would be new methods of dealing with allegations of bias. A rigorous examination of BBC practices would be necessary when the new licence fee was negotiated. That sounds awfully like business as usual. It will disappoint some Tory backbenchers, who will accuse Mr Whittingdale of going native already: of forswearing red-bloodedness in exchange for a Cabinet minister’s red box.