London (CNN) A confused leader British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Richard Sharp resigned on Friday after discovering he had failed to disclose his involvement in a nearly $1 million loan to former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Sharp said the breach was “careless and not material”, but said he was resigning “to put the interests of the BBC first”. He previously denied being involved in the arrangement or having a conflict of interest, as the loan was granted before he was appointed chairman of the public broadcaster.
Adam Heppinstall’s report found Sharp had “failed to disclose potential conflicts of opinion” to cross-party MPs who advised ministers on who to appoint.
“Appointing the former prime minister may have risked creating the impression that Mr Sharp would not be independent,” the report said.
“Both of these non-disclosures constituted a breach of the Governance Act as the committee was unable to advise ministers on these matters.”
The former banker came under pressure to resign after it was alleged that Johnson acted as a middleman when he tried to secure a loan, weeks before then-prime minister Sharpe was appointed to his post in 2021. Sharp told lawmakers in February. t arrange the loan,” he acted as an “introductory company”.
The BBC, funded by a £159 ($193) annual license fee paid by every household that owns a television or watches streaming content, has been embroiled in controversy this year after suspending its star football presenter Gary Lineker for criticizing the government’s migration policy.
Lineker compared a controversial new law aimed at preventing undocumented migrants from entering the country on small boats and the slogan “Stop the Boats” that carried it with language used in Germany in the 1930s — a comparison that drew angry backlash from parts of Britain’s right. -Singu media and many lawmakers in its ruling Conservative Party.
The former England football captain was later reinstated after his fellow presenters refused to go on air without him, and the agency reviewed what freelancers outside its news division could and could not say on social media.
Lindsey Isaacs contributed to this report.