BBC to review any conflict of interest over chair’s role in Boris Johnson loan

The BBC board will look into conflicts of interest involving the appointment of its chairman Richard Sharp amid claims he was helped Boris Johnson secure a £800,000 credit

line. Announcing the review, Mr Sharp said he wanted to ensure “all the appropriate guidelines have been followed” and has asked the BBC board’s nominations committee to

review the matter. Labour is demanding an investigation following a Sunday Times report that Mr Sharp introduced the loan guarantor, multimillionaire Canadian Sam Blyth, to

the cabinet secretary Simon Case. Mr Sharp is said to have had dinner with Mr Johnson and Mr Blyth at Chequers before the credit line was finalised in the weeks before he

was recommended for the BBC job by the then-prime minister. The BBC chairman has denied any conflict of interest. In a statement to the broadcasters’ employees on Monday, he

called the row had become “a distraction for the organisation, which I regret”. Rishi Sunak’s government has insisted that the appointment of the BBC chairman Richard Sharp

was above board. The Cabinet Office rejected claims that there may have been an undeclared conflict of interest. “Richard Sharp was appointed as chairman of the BBC

following a rigorous appointments process including assessment by a panel of experts, constituted according to the public appointments code,” a Cabinet Office spokesperson

said. They added: “There was additional pre-appointment scrutiny by a House of Commons Select Committee which confirmed Mr Sharp’s appointment. All the correct recruitment

processes were followed.”