BBC chairman Richard Sharp undermined public trust in the BBC and more widely the public appointments system with his failure to reveal he had been involved in arranging a loan of £800,000 for then UK prime minister Boris Johnson, politicians have concluded in a damning report published today.
The contents of the report, which found Sharp “guilty of a serious error of judgment,” will heap more pressure on the Corporation’s chairman as he awaits the results of two other enquiries into the matter.
The Sunday Times newspaper revealed a few weeks ago that Sharp – previously the boss of current UK prime minister Rishi Sunak – had been involved in discussions leading to the arrangement of a loan for Johnson, at the same time as he was applying to become the BBC chairman. Johnson awarded him the role a fortnight later.
In its report, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, wrote that Sharp’s failure to reveal his links to the PM was also a “breach of the standards expected” of individuals applying for public appointments.
And the committee urged Sharp to “consider the impact his omissions will have on trust in him, the BBC and the public appointments process.”
The opposition were quick to jump on the contents of the report, with shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell calling Sharp’s position at the BBC “increasingly untenable.”
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