Richard Sharp: BBC chairman asks for conflict of interest review
Richard Sharp has defended his position as BBC chairman amid scrutiny over his links with Boris Johnson.
Claims emerged over the weekend that the ex-banker was involved in securing a loan of up to £800,000 for the then-prime minister.
Mr Sharp said he had not been involved in a loan, a guarantee or arranging any financing.
In a statement to BBC employees, he called the row “a distraction for the organisation, which I regret”.
Mr Sharp said he had never hidden his longstanding relationship with the former PM.
According to The Sunday Times, Mr Sharp was involved in helping to arrange a guarantor on a loan of up to £800,000 for Mr Johnson in late 2020.
He was handpicked for the senior role by Mr Johnson in February 2021.
He told BBC staff “I believe firmly that I was appointed on merit, which the Cabinet Office have also confirmed”.
Mr Johnson and the government have rejected suggestions there was any conflict of interest involved.
Labour has called for the Commissioner for Public Appointments to fully investigate the appointment.