The chairman of the BBC Broadcasting Group, Richard Sharp, has announced his resignation due to a conflict of interest related to his appointment. A recently published report found that Sharp broke the rules by failing to declare that he had helped then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson obtain an £800,000 loan.
Sharp, a former banker, took office in 2021, shortly after putting Johnson in touch with a distant cousin who granted the loan. Although Sharp believes his breach was inadvertent, he has decided to resign so as not to distract from the “good work” of the audiovisual giant. Culture Minister Lucy Fraser thanked him for his work as BBC chairman and “understood and respected” his decision to resign.
Sharp’s proximity to the Conservative Party, as well as his financial relationship with the then-prime minister, have been the subject of criticism. The BBC has been criticized in recent years by the ruling Conservatives, who accuse it of biased coverage and focusing on the concerns of urban elites rather than the concerns of the working class. In addition, the institution faces competition from paid platforms and threats to its public funding.
At the beginning of 2022, the UK government froze the £159 annual AV tax for inflation for two years, which is straining household finances. Under budgetary pressure, the group announced a plan to save £500 million a year, which includes cutting 1,000 jobs and merging channels and others to be broadcast exclusively online.
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