BBC Finds Ousted Chair Richard Sharp Showed No Conflict of Interest During Tenure

The BBC has unveiled its findings following a review into the conduct of recently-ousted chair Richard Sharp. The corporation said Sharp’s conduct did not give rise to any conflicts of interest.

Sharp resigned two weeks ago after it was revealed he had helped former Prime Minister Boris Johnson secure a loan in 2020 just weeks before Johnson recommended him for the role of BBC chair. Sharp was then formally appointed in Jan. 2021.

Sharp, a banker and former chair of the Royal Academy of Arts, did not disclose the episode during his application for the role, an omission that constituted a “significant error of judgement” a parliamentary inquiry said. An official report by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport concluded that Sharp had breached the rules for public appointments, prompting him to step down.

The BBC also conducted its own review, headed by three non-executive members of the BBC board’s nominations committee, in order to ascertain whether Sharp had shown any conflict of interest during his tenure as chair of the organization. “The committee confirmed it had no concerns in respect of the Chairman’s integrity while in the role,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

But it added that Sharp failed to make the “relevant declarations” at the outset of his tenure “to avoid any potential perceived conflicts of interest.” His failure to do so contravened the board’s code of practice.

Sharp is set to remain as interim chair until June. His successor has not yet been announced.

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