Richard Sharp resigns as BBC chairman over breach of appointment rules
Richard Sharp has resigned as BBC chairman after a report found he failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest by playing a role in getting Boris Johnson an £800,000 loan guarantee.
The former Tory donor said on Friday morning that he will stand down at the end of June after barrister Adam Heppinstall KC’s review into his appointment found he committed breaches of the rules.
Mr Heppinstall concluded he “failed to disclose potential perceived conflicts of interest” to the panel that interviewed candidates and advised ministers on his appointment.
The report was ordered after it emerged he introduced his friend Sam Blyth, a cousin of Mr Johnson who wanted to help him with his financial troubles, to the Cabinet Office ahead of being recommended by the Government to the role.
In his resignation statement, Mr Sharp said: “Mr Heppinstall’s view is that while I did breach the governance code for public appointments, he states that a breach does not necessarily invalidate an appointment.
“Indeed, I have always maintained the breach was inadvertent and not material, which the facts he lays out substantiate. The Secretary of State has consulted with the BBC Board who support that view.
“Nevertheless, I have decided that it is right to prioritise the interests of the BBC.
“I feel that this matter may well be a distraction from the Corporation’s good work were I to remain in post until the end of my term.
“I have therefore this morning resigned as BBC chair to the Secretary of State, and to the Board.”
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