BBC Chairman Helped Boris Johnson Secure $990,000 Loan Week Before Jobs Win – Report

BBC Chairman Richard Sharp helped arrange a loan guarantee of up to £800,000 ($990,000) for Boris Johnson weeks before he was recommended by the prime minister at the time for the role in the media, according to a new report.

Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was involved in discussions about how to help fund the former Prime Minister’s life in late 2020. At the time, Johnson was facing financial problems due to divorce, child support, and home repair bills. Downing Street flat, The Sunday Times Report.

The newspaper went on to report that in 2020 Sharp met with Sam Blyth, a Canadian businessman and a distant cousin of the former prime minister, who was said to have raised the idea of ​​working a person who approves a loan for Johnson and asks Sharp for advice on the best way forward. The BBC chairman agreed to help Blyth and introduced him to Simon Case, the cabinet secretary and chief of staff, the paper reported.

The Sunday Times said Johnson, Sharp, and Blyth had dinner at Checkers, the Prime Minister’s home before the loan was completed. One month later, Sharp was announced as the government’s choice for the BBC role.

According to the government announcement, the chair of the BBC is appointed by the king on the advice of the Prime Minister and the secretary of culture. However, the government has a decision on this appointment.

As part of the role, the chair of the BBC is responsible for the organization and is required to maintain its independence from the government and oversee its general leadership.

The Sunday Times reported that Sharp did not disclose his involvement in the prime minister’s finances at the panel that interviewed him for the role, and did not discuss the matter during his first hearing before the committee. elected by the House of Commons in February 2021.

Responding to the report, Sharp told the Sunday Times: “There is no conflict if I only communicate, at his request, Mr Blyth with the cabinet secretary and nothing else.” involved.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC has no role in the appointment of the chair and any question is a matter for the government.”

A spokeswoman for Johnson dismissed the report as “rubbish” and said the financial situation was correct.

“Richard Sharp did not give financial advice to Boris Johnson, nor did Johnson seek financial advice from him,” the spokesman said. “There has never been any payment or compensation to Mr Sharp from Boris Johnson for this or any other service.”

The opposition Labor Party has reported Boris Johnson to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after the report.

Anneliese Dodds, leader of the Labor group, said: “Johnson must be asked: why has this money not been disclosed, and what exactly did he promise these kind friends to repay such large loans?”

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