BBC chairman asks for probe into alleged Boris Johnson loan links

The former Prime Minister branded allegations Richard Sharp helped him secure an £800,000 loan 'complete nonsense'.

BBC chairman Richard Sharp asks for panel to investigate alleged Boris Johnson loan links BBC / STV News

BBC chairman Richard Sharp has asked for a scrutiny panel to examine potential conflicts of interest over his role in helping Boris Johnson secure a loan.

Mr Sharp, who was appointed as BBC chairman while Johnson was prime minister, was reportedly involved in arranging a guarantor on a loan of up to £800,000 in late 2020.

In a statement reported by the BBC, Mr Sharp acknowledged “distractions such as this are not welcome” and said he had asked the nominations committee of the BBC board to look at the matter.

“We have many challenges at the BBC and I know that distractions such as this are not welcome,” he said.

“Our work at the BBC is rooted in trust. Although the appointment of the BBC chairman is solely a matter for the Government … I want to ensure that all the appropriate guidelines have been followed within the BBC since I have joined.

“The nominations committee of the BBC board has responsibility for regularly reviewing board members’ conflicts of interest.”

The BBC reported that Mr Sharp “has agreed with the board’s senior independent director that the committee shall look at this when it next meets and, in the interests of transparency, publish the conclusions”.

In an interview with Sky News, Johnson said Sharp had “no knowledge” of his personal finances, branding the allegations “complete nonsense”.

“Let me just tell you, Richard Sharp is a good and wise man but he knows absolutely nothing about my personal finances – I can tell you that for 100% ding dang sure,” he said.

“This is just another example of the BBC disappearing up its own fundament.”

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