Ex-BBC chairman Richard Sharp ‘thrown under bus’ in Tory witch-hunt

BBC chairman Richard Sharp resigns

Esther McVey, an ex-housing minister, said: “It’s going to be one after another now, going for all the Tories in various industries.”

Mr Sharp resigned as BBC chairman after being found to have broken rules by failing to disclose he played a role in getting former Prime Minister Boris Johnson an £800,000 loan guarantee.

A review by barrister Adam Heppinstall found the former Tory donor twice breached the code governing public appointments, risking the perception he was not independent from the then-prime minister.

In his resignation statement, Mr Sharp insisted that his breach of the rules was “inadvertent and not material”.

But Ms McVey said there had been a campaign to oust Mr Sharp, telling GB News: “It was another Conservative scalp.”

And a Conservative former Cabinet Minister said the former banker had been “thrown under a bus”, adding: “I think he’s probably had a bruising time and clearly this was some kind of witchhunt as well. No doubt about that.”

Campaigners against the BBC licence fee said the affair strengthened the case for reform.

Rebecca Ryan, Campaign Director of Defund the BBC, said: “The rise and fall of the latest BBC Chairman is symptomatic of how power operates in this country and a further sign that the state broadcaster – and mouthpiece of ‘the Blob’ – is in its death throes.”

She added: “The BBC’s days are numbered unless it finds a new funding model fast. It’s time to clean out the corruption, cut out the bloat and get with the digital age.”

Contenders to replace Mr Sharp overseeing the BBC include Muriel Gray, former host of Channel 4 music show The Tube, who is one of the BBC board’s non-executive directors and its member for Scotland.

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