The letter written by Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary, to Richard Sharp, the outgoing Chair of the BBC, on 28 April 2023.
Thank you for your letter notifying me of your decision to resign from your position as Chair of the British Broadcasting Corporation. I understand and respect your decision to stand down.
As you have stated the BBC is a great national institution. Over the past 100 years it has touched the lives of almost everyone in the United Kingdom and plays a unique part in our cultural heritage. It is respected globally, reaching hundreds of millions of people across the world every week. No other country in the world has anything quite like it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the work you have done and the leadership you have provided as Chair of the BBC. You have been a champion for what a strong BBC can achieve, not only for audiences at home, but also for the BBC’s contribution to the economy and to the UK’s global soft power. I would like to express my gratitude for your work with the government to maintain the BBC World Service in its unrivalled status as the world’s largest international broadcaster, and supporting its crucial role in tackling harmful disinformation through providing trusted news and analysis globally.
I know that you are held in high regard by the BBC Board. You have clearly demonstrated your commitment to public service, and I especially applaud the work you did during the pandemic. Your decision to step down in the wider interests of the Corporation is further testament to that commitment.
Certainty and stability for the Corporation are clearly a shared priority. In this context, I have spoken to the Board and they have proposed that you stay in place until the next Board meeting on 27 June 2023, whilst an Acting Chair is appointed in line with the Charter. I have accepted this and would like to thank you for your continued service to assist in ensuring an orderly and smooth transition takes place. We will also move to launch a process to identify and appoint a permanent new Chair.
Thank you, once again, for your service and I wish you well for the future. I am sure there will be further opportunities for you to make a significant contribution to public life.
Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport