BBC chairman set to be grilled by MPs amid questions over Boris Johnson loan

BBC chairman Richard Sharp will be grilled by MPs next month, following the disclosure that he helped then prime minister Boris Johnson to secure a loan of up to

£800,000. Mr Sharp has said that he believed his selection process was conducted “by the book” and denied he had misled the advisory panel or MPs on the Commons Digital,

Culture, Media and Sport Committee when he appeared before them. The BBC chairman will appear again before the same committee on February 7 to face questions, with acting

chairman Damian Green writing to Mr Sharp on Tuesday to invite him to attend. The former banker has been facing calls to stand down after it emerged that in late 2020 he had

introduced his friend Sam Blyth to the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to discuss whether Mr Blyth could act as a guarantor for a loan facility for Mr Johnson. But he insisted

he would remain in place and was confident he was given the job on merit. In a brief letter to the BBC chairman, Mr Green said he was being asked to appear “following the

recent media reports regarding your appointment”. “The Committee intends to cover the issues raised in your pre-appointment hearing and any developments since

then.” On Monday, public appointments commissioner William Shawcross announced he is to investigate Mr Sharp’s appointment as BBC chairman in February 2021 to ensure the

process was conducted “fairly, openly and on merit”. Asked if he should stand down while the investigation is carried out, Mr Sharp said: “No, I’m confident that he will

determine that I was appointed on merit.