BBC to review any conflict of interest over chair’s role in Boris Johnson loan

The BBC board will look into potential conflicts of interest involving the appointment of its chairman Richard Sharp amid claims he was helped Boris Johnson secure a £800,000

credit line. Announcing the review, Mr Sharp said he wanted to ensure “all the appropriate guidelines have been followed” and has asked the BBC board’s nominations committee

to review the matter. Labour is demanding a further investigations following a Sunday Times report that Mr Sharp introduced the loan guarantor, multimillionaire Sam Blyth,

to the cabinet secretary Simon Case. Mr Sharp is said to have had dinner with Mr Johnson and Mr Blyth at Chequers before the credit line was finalised in the weeks before he

was recommended for the BBC job by the then-prime minister. The BBC chairman has denied any conflict of interest. In a statement to the broadcasters’ employees on Monday, he

said the row had become “a distraction for the organisation, which I regret”. Mr Johnson said he was “ding-dang sure” that claims of a conflict of interest were “a load of

complete nonsense” when asked about the matter by Sky News on Monday morning. “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,” said the ex-PM. “This is just another example of the BBC disappearing up its own fundament.” Rishi

Sunak’s government has insisted that the appointment of Mr Sharp was above board. The Cabinet Office rejected claims that there may have been an undeclared conflict of

interest.