Nepotism: Report: BBC chairman advised Johnson ahead of appointment

Report: BBC chairman advised Johnson ahead of appointment

Richard Sharp (l), Chairman of the BBC, and Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister of Great Britain. photo

© House of Commons/PA Wire/dpa

Did the BBC boss get his job in exchange for financial help to ex-PM Boris Johnson? The British opposition is pushing for an investigation.

The British opposition is calling for an independent investigation into former Prime Minister Boris Johnson over alleged nepotism. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that BBC chairman Richard Sharp had provided financial advice to the then prime minister shortly before Johnson was appointed. According to the report, Sharp helped his longtime friend Johnson arrange a guarantee for a loan of up to £800,000 (€911,000) in late 2020. Shortly thereafter, Sharp was officially nominated by the Prime Minister for the BBC post.

The BBC Chairman is appointed by the Monarch on the proposal of the Prime Minister and Minister for Culture. The public broadcaster is not involved in the selection process.

“The financial affairs of this disgraced former Prime Minister are becoming increasingly murky and are dragging the Conservative Party deeper into the mire,” said Labor Party Secretary-General Anneliese Dodds. It’s about serious questions: “Why was this money never declared, and what exactly did he promise these very generous friends in exchange for such generous loans?”

Johnson and Sharp denied the allegations. A spokesman for Johnson told the “Sunday Times” that during a personal meeting with Sharp and Canadian entrepreneur Sam Blyth, a distant cousin of Johnson, who ultimately gave him the guarantee, the finances of the then prime minister were not at stake. Johnson did not disclose Blyth’s assistance because it was assistance from a relative with no conflict of interest.

According to media reports, Johnson was in financial difficulties at the end of 2020 due to alimony payments and the luxurious renovation of his Downing Street official apartment.


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