BBC chairman ‘undermined trust in BBC’ with role in arranging loan for UK PM Boris Johnson – Damming report reveals

BBC chairman Richard Sharpe undermined public trust in the BBC and the public appointments system more widely by failing to disclose that he was involved in arranging an £800,000 loan for then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, politicians have concluded in a damning report published today. .

The contents of the report, which found Sharpe “guilty of a serious error of judgement”, will put further pressure on the corporation’s chairman as he awaits the outcome of two further investigations into the matter.

The Sunday Times newspaper revealed weeks ago that Sharpe – formerly the boss of current UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – was involved in negotiations to arrange the loan for Johnson, at the same time he applied to become the BBC. Chairman Johnson appointed him to the role a fortnight later.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee wrote in its report that Sharpe’s failure to disclose his links to the Prime Minister was also a “breach of the standards expected” of people applying for public appointments.

And the committee urged Sharp to “consider the impact his removal will have on confidence in him, the BBC and the public appointment process”.

Opponents were quick to pounce on the report’s content, with shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell calling Sharpe’s position “increasingly unstable” at the BBC.

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