Trouble in the BBC leadership: Boris’ best friend

First it was discovered that BBC Chairman Richard Sharp had arranged a loan for ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He is now voluntarily resigning from his post.

Richard Sharp with a serious look

Richard Sharp before the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in February Photo: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire/dpa

If someone gets the idea that well-kept shady dealings in public broadcasting only occur at RBB, we recommend taking a look at the long-suffering BBC. The chairman, in a way the chairman of the board of directors, had to resign last week. Although he has not found this hat for months. It was known from the start that Richard Sharp was a follower of ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and had done him and his party a whole host of favors. After all, Sharp is one of the big players when it comes to party donations to the Conservatives.

Sharp has now stumbled across a loan of at least 800,000 British pounds. However, it wasn’t the party that needed it, but Boris Johnson, who was always clammy: In Great Britain, too, the prime minister earns less than an intendant – and considerably less.

While Johnson had a so-called “entitlement” of £164,080 a year as prime minister, BBC boss Tim Davie’s salary was even increased again in September 2021 from £450,000 to an incredible £525,000. Even German directors can only dream of that. “They’re more likely to get nightmares and keep their distance,” the roommate suspects. “After all, they prefer to convince with their strengths.”

The government wanted to hold on to him

Sharp itself has no money problems. He is a former Goldman Sachs banker and “independently wealthy” as it is called in English. He had promised to donate the £160,000 he is entitled to for the part-time (!) job as the BBC’s chief warden to charity. And of course he didn’t lend the money himself, but put Johnson in touch with a friend who could help. During the autumn 2020 application process for the post of BBC chairman, Sharp foolishly forgot to mention his role in the number with the loan. Which he regrets terribly in hindsight.

“This matter could distract from the good work of the BBC if I stayed in office,” Sharp feigned in a BBC video statement on the resignation. Sticking to the office for weeks was the plan. The government under today’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was very keen to keep Sharp. After all, the matter with the loan had been known since mid-January. And what was the name of Sunak’s boss again, who was also a banker at Goldman Sachs in a previous life? Right, Richard Sharp of course.

But the coverage of the loan and the questions it raised ended up being too powerful. The government commissioned an official examination. And Sharp was out of the BBC window, which is another indication of the importance of dedicated media journalism. Hats off!

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