Richard Sharp was forced to resign over his involvement in Boris Johnson’s finances… but now an internal BBC ‘conflict of interests’ review CLEARS the Beeb Chairman
- BBC probe finds ‘no concerns’ about ‘integrity’ of Richard Sharp while chairman
There were ‘no concerns’ about the ‘integrity’ of Richard Sharp during his time as BBC chairman, a probe by the broadcaster has revealed.
Mr Sharp was forced to announce he was resigning from the role at the end of last month over failing to disclose his involvement in Boris Johnson’s finances.
An independent report in April found the BBC boss, who took up the role in 2021, had twice breached the rules on public appointments.
But a separate ‘conflict of interests’ review, released by the BBC on Thursday, found no issues about his behaviour during his time there.
As a result of Thursday’s review, rules around the chairman and board members meeting ‘senior political figures’ will be tightened, with stricter record-keeping of such meetings.
Richard Sharp was forced to resign chairman of the BBC over his failure to disclose his involvement in Boris Johnson’s finances
This came after the review found that Mr Sharp had three meetings with Boris Johnson that had ‘not been noted in BBC records’.
The probe was carried out by three non-executive members of the board’s Nominations Committee – Sir Nick Serota, Dame Elan Closs Stephens and Shirley Garrood.
It looked into Mr Sharp’s obligations in respect of conflicts of interest since his appointment as chairman.
The review concluded there were ‘no concerns in respect of the chairman’s integrity’ while in the role.
(Stock photo) The BBC’s review concluded there were ‘no concerns’ about Richard Sharp’s ‘integrity’ but said ‘relevant declarations should have been made at the outset of his tenure’
But it noted the ‘relevant declarations should have been made at the outset of his tenure’, to ‘avoid any potential perceived conflicts of interest’.
The BBC said following the review there should be a ‘clearer process by which meetings between Board members and senior political figures – including social events – were diarised and notified to the BBC and to officials and subsequently minuted’.
Yesterday, former BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall said the Prime Minister ‘ought to’ give up the power to select the BBC chair.
Lord Hall, who sits on the House of Lords communications and digital committee, called for more transparency on who is being appointed to the panel who recommend the BBC chair.
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