Labour urges probe into BBC chair appointment amid Boris Johnson loan claims

Labour has asked for an investigation into the appointment of the BBC chairman amid claims he helped Boris Johnson secure a loan – weeks before the then-prime minister

recommended him for the role. Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell has written to the Commissioner for Public Appointments asking him to investigate the process by which

Richard Sharp got the job. Labour has also written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards calling for an investigation into the claims. The Sunday Times

reported Mr Sharp, a Tory donor, was involved in arranging a guarantor on a loan of up to £800,000 for Mr Johnson in late 2020. Mr Sharp told the newspaper he had “simply

connected” people and there was no conflict of interest while Mr Johnson’s spokesman dismissed the report as “rubbish” and insisted his financial arrangements “have been properly

declared”. Ms Powell said it is “vital” the public and Parliament can trust the appointment process and that it must be “free from any real or perceived conflict of

interest”. In her letter to William Shawcross, Ms Powell stated: “The BBC derives its public trust and national standing from its independence and impartiality, something we

hear a lot about from the Government about the BBC. “It is vital that the public and Parliament can have trust in this process, and it is free from any real or perceived

conflict of interest. “Accordingly, I urge you to investigate this process and satisfy the public and Parliament of its integrity.” There’s nothing in Boris Johnson’s

declaration of interest as an MP about this. It’s been brought into the open by journalism, not by people being transparent