Richard Sharp has resigned as BBC chairman after conceding a report found he breached the governance code for public appointments.
He announced on Friday morning that he will stand down at the end of June after reading the findings of barrister Adam Heppinstall KC’s review into his appointment, which has just been published.
The report was ordered after it emerged he played a role in facilitating an £800,000 loan guarantee for then prime minister Boris Johnson before being recommended for the influential role overseeing the public broadcaster’s independence.
In a statement, he said: “Mr Heppinstall’s view is that while I did breach the governance code for public appointments, he states that a breach does not necessarily invalidate an appointment.
“Indeed, I have always maintained the breach was inadvertent and not material, which the facts he lays out substantiate. The Secretary of State has consulted with the BBC Board who support that view.
“Nevertheless, I have decided that it is right to prioritise the interests of the BBC.
“I feel that this matter may well be a distraction from the Corporation’s good work were I to remain in post until the end of my term.
“I have therefore this morning resigned as BBC Chair to the Secretary of State, and to the Board.”
Press Association – by Sam Blewett