National Gallery appoints new chair

The National Gallery has appointed John Booth, a businessman, as its new chairman, succeeding the former BBC director general Lord Hall who stepped down in May in the wake of the Martin Bashir controversy.

The appointment, which is ratified by the Prime Minister, may cause another controversy in that Booth, who only became a board member in February as a liaison trustee of Tate where he was deputy chair, is a contributor to Conservative Party funds inviting renewed accusations of a system of “placemen”,  Tory supporters being appointed to key positions in the governance of the arts and media..

Booth is also chairman of the Prince’s Trust and a member of the board of the London Theatre Company which operates the Bridge Theatre, is a non-executive director of several investment management businesses and has venture capital interests in e-commerce, media and telecommunications.  



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