Richard Sharp resigns as BBC chairman following row over Boris Johnson loan

BBC chairman Richard Sharp resigned after a report he breached the government’s code for public appointments when applying for the role of BBC chairman in November 2020.

A report found he failed to properly disclose his involvement in facilitating an £800,000 loan guarantee for the then PM Boris Johnson.

It says he twice breached the code – firstly by telling Johnson he was going to meet Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to try to introduce him to someone who wanted to help the before doing so.

“These matters gave rise to a potential perceived conflict of interest,” the report says, and should have been disclosed during his appointment process.

Sharp says the breach was “inadvertent and not material” but he is resigning from the BBC because the row is a “distraction from the organization’s good work.”

The government’s choice for BBC chairman is ultimately decided by the prime minister – Sharp was appointed in February 2021.

The inquiry by the Commissioner for Public Appointments has been led by a lawyer, Adam Heppinstall KC.

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