Boris Johnson says Richard Sharp controversy is ‘nonsense’
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BBC chairman Richard Sharp was found to have made “significant errors of judgement”, by a cross-party committee of MPs, for failing to declare his role in arranging an £800,000 loan for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson while applying for his role at the public broadcaster. But do you think he should resign? Vote in our poll.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that Mr Sharp should “consider the impact his omissions will have” on public trust in the broadcaster.
The Labour Party has declared Mr Sharp’s position as chair of the BBC as “increasingly untenable”. Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy said the report “is a really serious development and it makes Richard Sharp’s position look increasingly untenable.” She added: “I think it’s difficult to see how Richard Sharp could possibly stay in the position that he’s in given the far-reaching implications for the reputation of the BBC and the implications for trust in journalism.”
While Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that Mr Sharp had “clearly brought the BBC into disrepute” and had “serious questions” to answer. She said: “I do think it is questionable about his position because he has thrown doubt on the impartiality and the independence.”
Speaking of the report’s findings on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Development Minister Andrew Mitchell said it was a “matter for the BBC”.
Mr Sharp’s involvement with Mr Johnson has been scrutinised since the Sunday Times reported the claims last month. The committee’s report said Mr Sharp was wrong not to have told it or the appointments panel he had introduced his businessman friend Sam Blyth to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.
A spokesperson for the chairman said: “Mr Sharp appreciates that there was information that the committee felt that it should have been made aware of in his pre-appointment hearing. He regrets this and apologises.
“It was in seeking at the time to ensure that the rules were followed, and in the belief that this had been achieved, that Mr Sharp acted in good faith in the way he did. Mr Sharp believed he had dealt with the issue by proactively briefing the Cabinet Secretary that he was applying for the role of BBC chair, and therefore beyond connecting Mr Blyth with Mr Case, he recused himself from the matter.”
So what do YOU think? Should Mr Sharp resign from his position as BBC chairman? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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