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Boris Johnson and Richard Sharp: BBC chairman clears probe into alleged nepotism


Richard Sharp is said to have provided financial advice to former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, thereby becoming BBC chairman. A media report raises the suspicion. The broadcaster wants to investigate.

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Richard Sharp and Boris Johnson: case of nepotism?

Photo: House of Commons / dpa

Did Richard Sharp become BBC chairman for providing financial advice to his longtime friend, ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson?

The suspicion has been around since a media report last weekend.

BBC chairman Sharp has now agreed to an independent review of his appointment.

"We have many challenges at the BBC and I know that distractions like these are not helpful," Sharp said. "The station's business is also based on public trust," he said.

The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Sharp had provided financial advice to the then prime minister shortly before he was appointed BBC chairman by Johnson.

According to the report, Sharp is said to have helped his longtime friend Johnson arrange a guarantee for a loan of up to £800,000 (about 911,000 euros) at the end of 2020.

Shortly thereafter, Sharp was officially nominated by Johnson 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.

Johnson was in trouble

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.

During this time he had met Sharp and Canadian entrepreneur Sam Blyth, a distant cousin of Johnson.

Ultimately, he gave Johnson the guarantee.

According to the Sunday Times, Sharp is said to have first introduced the two men.

Johnson denied the allegations.

"This is a bunch of complete nonsense - complete nonsense," the ex-premier told Sky News on Monday.

"Richard Sharp is a great and wise man, but he knows absolutely nothing about my personal finances, I can tell you that 100 percent for sure."

The opposition is calling for an independent investigation into the former prime minister.

The party wrote to Daniel Greenberg, who oversees a transparency register on MPs' financial interests in the British House of Commons, reports the Guardian.

The opposition harshly criticized Johnson.

"The financial affairs of this disgraced former Prime Minister are becoming increasingly murky, dragging the Conservative Party deeper into the mire," said Labor Secretary-General Anneliese Dodds.

It is about serious questions: "Why was this money never declared and what exactly did he promise these very generous friends in return for such generous loans?" The lack of transparency gives the impression that there could have been a return.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-23

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