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Lord Patten quits BBC for health reasons

By Robert Dex

Lord Patten has stood down from his role as chairman of the BBC Trust for health reasons after a turbulent three years in the job.

The former Cabinet minister's stint at the top of the BBC's governing body, which started in 2011 and was due to end next April, has seen him work with three different director-generals and weather scandals including excessive executive pay and the corporation's disastrous Diamond Jubilee coverage.

He is best known in Northern Ireland as the man who chaired the commission that recommended the reforms of the RUC that led to the creation of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Lord Patten, who had heart surgery seven years ago, said he underwent further surgery last month after being admitted to hospital in London with "serious chest pains".

He paid tribute to the medical staff who treated him, saying: "On the advice of my doctors, however, and having consulted my family and friends, I have concluded that I cannot continue to work at the same full pace as I have done to date, and that I should reduce the range of roles I undertake.

"On this basis I have decided with great regret to step down from much the most demanding of my roles – that of chairman of the BBC Trust.

"It would not be fair to my family to continue as before; and equally it would not be fair to the BBC and those it serves not to be able to give that commitment which the role demands."

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