David Dimbleby believes BBC needs new chair appointment rules after Richard Sharp scandal 2023

After Richard Sharp resigned after breaking rules over dealings with Boris Johnson, veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby suggested a cross-party public commission appoint the BBC chair, but he ruled himself out.

Sharp resigned after violating public appointment standards by failing to disclose an £800,000 loan for the UK’s previous prime leader.

Dimbleby told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that prime ministers should not have so much power to choose the BBC head.

Politically, we’re not idiots. Dimbleby stated they disagree. But we want a non-political BBC director. The easiest way to ensure that is to create a commission of all parties and let them decide.”

The Sunday Times reported earlier this year that Sharp surreptitiously assisted Sam Blyth, who sought to guarantee Johnson’s £800,000 personal debt, while bidding to be BBC head.

After the commissioner of public appointments found a “potential perceived conflict of interest” in Sharp’s failure to disclose his loan connection, he resigned on Friday.

After leaving government, Johnson’s loan provider remains unknown.

Dimbleby said it was unclear whether Sharp deceived or should have explained his loan participation, but that the episode proved a new manner of appointing the BBC head should be devised.

Dimbleby said Johnson “rode roughshod over accepted practices” in No 10 and used the Department for Media, Culture, and Sport to pick Sharp.

Johnson’s behavior illustrated why the prime minister should not choose the BBC chair.

Dimbleby declined the BBC chairship when requested. He applied twice unsuccessfully.

“Broadcasting has always been my favorite. I’ll continue. “If asked, I’ll say ‘no, thank you very much, not this time,’” he remarked.

On Newsnight on Friday, former BBC journalist Andrew Marr recommended Dimbleby for the job.

“I personally would like to see a really big, experienced proponent of public service broadcasting who would remoralise and lead the BBC in a new way,” he remarked. I’d like to see David Dimbleby, albeit he won’t thank me.

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