BBC Chairman Richard Sharp has announced his resignation after an inquiry found that he breached rules by failing to declare his involvement in arranging a loan for then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Sharp, a former boss of UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak at investment bank Goldman Sachs, was appointed to the role by Johnson, prompting criticism of cronyism. The BBC chairman is appointed by the UK monarch on the advice of the government.
According to an inquiry by lawyer Adam Heppinstall, Sharp “failed to disclose potential perceived conflicts of interest” to a committee of MPs that were vetting his appointment in early 2021.
The same committee had accused Sharp of “significant errors of judgement” for not disclosing his involvement in the loan, which had been made by a distant cousin of Johnson. The inquiry found that there was a risk of a perception that Sharp was recommended for appointment because he assisted Johnson in a private financial matter.
Sharp acknowledged breaching conflict-of-interest rules for top UK officials, but said it was “inadvertent and not material” to his appointment to the BBC. He confirmed he would step down at the end of June to give time for a new chair to be found.