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BBC Chairman Sharp Faces Day of Reckoning as Report Due

LONDON (Reuters) – An investigation into whether BBC chairman Richard Sharp breached rules by failing to declare his role in arranging a loan for then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson around the time he was appointed is expected to be published on Friday.

The country’s public appointments watchdog has been investigating the way in which Sharp was selected by the government to chair the broadcaster in 2021.

Its independent report, written by Adam Heppinstall, is imminent, according to British media.

It will examine whether Sharp fully disclosed details of his role in facilitating an 800,000 pound loan for Johnson before he was named as chairman of the publicly-funded national broadcaster.

Should the report find Sharp did breach the rules, it will lead to fresh calls for him to resign.

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In February, a committee of lawmakers criticised Sharp, saying that he had made “significant errors of judgement” in failing to declare his involvement in facilitating the loan.

Sharp has said that he was not involved in making the loan or in arranging a guarantee or any financing, and his involvement went no further than introducing Canadian businessman Sam Blyth to a government official in late 2020.

The parliamentary committee said Sharp’s failure to tell it or the appointment panel about the matter was a breach of the standards expected of individuals applying for such public appointments.

The country’s main opposition Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has called Sharp’s position increasingly untenable.

The chairman of the BBC is appointed on the recommendation of the government.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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BBC Chairman Sharp Faces Day of Reckoning as Report Due


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