Richard Sharp has said there was “no conflict of interest” over his role in helping Boris Johnson secure a loan before being appointed BBC chairman.
He said he is confident he was given the job “on merit” after an investigation was launched into his hiring.
The BBC is also reporting that Mr Sharp has no plans to stand down despite scrutiny of his appointment.
The former banker has been facing calls to quit after it emerged that in late 2020 he had introduced his friend Sam Blyth to the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to discuss whether Mr Blyth could act as a guarantor for a loan facility for Mr Johnson, while Mr Sharp was in the process of applying for the role.
In an interview with the broadcaster today, Mr Sharp said that a decision was made by Mr Case that there was no conflict of interest, nor the perception of one.
He said: “Having had a discussion with the cabinet secretary about avoiding a conflict – and the perception of conflict – I felt comfortable and I still feel there was no conflict because at that stage what I was seeking to do was to ensure the process was followed exactly by the book, and that the process hadn’t started, of any kind, in terms of any support that Sam [Blyth] was going to provide to the prime minister.”
“I had clarified and agreed with the cabinet secretary, both of us had the judgment that I’d avoided a conflict or a perception of conflict.”