Richard Sharp has resigned from his role as the Chair of the BBC following a report written by Adam Heppinstall KC which stated that he had breached the governance rules when he was appointed. Sharp said following the report:
“Mr Heppinstall’s view is that, while I did breach the governance code for public appointments, he states that a breach does not necessarily invalidate an appointment. Indeed, I have always maintained the breach was inadvertent and not material, which the facts he lays out substantiate. The secretary of state has consulted with the BBC Board who support that view.
Nevertheless, I have decided that it is right to prioritise the interests of the BBC. I feel that this matter may well be a distraction from the corporation’s good work were I to remain in post until the end of my term. I have, therefore, this morning resigned as BBC chair to the secretary of state, and to the board.”
Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary, wrote to Sharp following his resignation stating:
“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.”
Lucy Powell, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said:
“The report is clear: Mr Sharp breached the rules expected of candidates by failing to disclose his involvement in a personal loan to the then PM. As a result, this breach has caused untold damage to the reputation of the BBC and seriously undermined its independence as a result of the Conservatives’ sleaze and cronyism.”
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