BBC panel to examine any conflicts of interest over Sharp’s role in Johnson loan

BBC chairman Richard Sharp has asked for a scrutiny panel to examine potential conflicts of interest over his role in helping Boris Johnson secure a loan. Mr Sharp

insisted he was “not involved in making a loan or arranging a guarantee” for the then prime minister but acknowledged the row is a “distraction” for the broadcaster. He told

BBC staff members his role was merely to “seek an introduction” for Sam Blyth, who reportedly acted as guarantor for a loan to Mr Johnson, “to the relevant official in

Government”. This matter, although it took place before I joined the BBC, is a distraction for the organisation, which I regret. I’m really sorry about it allRichard

Sharp He said: “This matter, although it took place before I joined the BBC, is a distraction for the organisation, which I regret. I’m really sorry about it all.” Mr

Johnson has insisted that Mr Sharp had no knowledge of his personal finances. Mr Sharp was in the process of applying for the BBC chairmanship when he made the introduction

and was subsequently appointed to the role at the corporation. He said: “I was not involved in making a loan, or arranging a guarantee, and I did not arrange any financing.

What I did do was to seek an introduction of Sam Blythe (sic) to the relevant official in Government.” He said Mr Blyth – a distant cousin of Mr Johnson whom Mr Sharp has

known for more than 40 years – had “become aware of the financial pressures on the then prime minister, and, being a successful entrepreneur, he told me he wanted to explore

whether he could assist”.