The Labour Party has called for an investigation after claims that the BBC chair helped Boris Johnson arrange a guarantee on a loan of up to £800,000.
The Labour Party called for a parliamentary investigation after claims that BBC chair Richard Sharp helped Boris Johnson arrange a guarantee on a loan of up to £800,000 weeks before he was recommended for a job by the then Prime Minister.
According to Sharp, he “simply connected” people and there was no conflict of interest. Meanwhile, Johnson’s spokesperson has denied receiving any financial advice from Sharp.
Anneliese Dodds, chairwoman of the Labour party wrote to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Daniel Greenberg following a report in the Sunday Times that reported that Sharp was involved in talks about financing Johnson in late 2020.
According to the newspaper, Sharp introduced Johnson to Canadian businessman Sam Blyth who proposed to act as the then Prime Minister’s guarantor for a credit facility, to the cabinet secretary.
Allegedly, Johnson, Sharp, and Blyth had dinner at Chequers before the loan was completed even though they denied discussing the then Prime Minister’s Finances.
Sharp told the Sunday Times that he connected Blyth with the cabinet secretary at Johnson’s request and had no further involvement whatsoever.
Richard Sharp, a former banker at Goldman Sachs was announced in January 2021 as the government’s choice for the BBC chair.
James Cleverly, Foreign Secretary of the country said that Sharp was an “incredibly accomplished, incredibly successful individual” and he was no doubt appointed based on his merits.
Meanwhile, a BBC spokesperson stated that “The BBC plays no role in the recruitment of the chair and any questions are a matter for the government.”
The Labour Party in its letter to Greenberg called for an “urgent investigation” and cited the MPs’ code of conduct that “holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties”.
Dodds says that the “lack of transparency” gives the impression it was a quid pro quo arrangement and undermines the integrity of the democratic process.
She also added that “The financial affairs of this disgraced former prime minister just keep getting murkier, dragging the Conservative party deeper into yet another quagmire of sleaze.”
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has traveled to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and visit parts of Kyiv.