BBC chairman Richard Sharp resigns for failure to fully disclose role in Boris Johnson loan
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Richard Sharp has resigned as BBC chair after a report shows he breached the corporation’s code on public appointments for not fully disclosing his role in Boris Johnson acquiring a loan. The report shows he had not fully revealed his involvement in the facilitation of a £800,000 loan to the then-PM.
After an investigation by The Sunday Times revealed his involvement in the loan, the Commission for Public Appointments announced it would review the process. The report, carried out by Adan Heppinstal, into the process that saw the appointment of Mr Sharp in 2021 has been published in full on Friday (April 28).
In his resignation statement, Mr Sharp said: "Mr Heppinstall’s view is that while I did breach the governance code for public appointments, he states that a breach does not necessarily invalidate an appointment.
"Indeed, I have always maintained the breach was inadvertent and not material, which the facts he lays out substantiate. The secretary of state has consulted with the BBC Board who support that view.
"Nevertheless, I have decided that it is right to prioritise the interests of the BBC. I feel that this matter may well be a distraction from the Corporation’s good work were I to remain in post until the end of my term.
"I have therefore this morning resigned as BBC Chair to the secretary of state, and to the Board."
The BBC baord has issues a statement accepting Mr Sharp’s resignation, saying: We want to put on record our thanks to Richard, who has been a valued and respected colleague, and a very effective Chairman of the BBC. The BBC board believes that Richard Sharp is a person of integrity.”
BBC director-general Tim Davie thanked Sharp for his “drive and intellect”, sayin: “Working with him over the last two years has been rewarding and Richard has made a significant contribution to the transformation and success of the BBC. The focus for all of us at the BBC is continuing the hard work to ensure we deliver for audiences, both now and in the future.”
Mr Sharp will remain as chairman until a new chair is appointed at the end of June.