The BBC’s newly-appointed chairman has donated more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party since 2001, Electoral Commission records show.
Richard Sharp, the former Goldman Sachs banker and adviser to the chancellor, was lined up for the job yesterday despite having no experience in journalism.
His appointment comes after Boris Johnson’s favoured candidate – Charles Moore, the ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph who was previously sanctioned for refusing to pay the license fee – ruled himself out of the running last year, supposedly because the job’s £180,000 salary wasn’t high enough.
In the past, Sharp has reportedly been giving the chancellor unpaid advice on the Government’s economic response to the pandemic, playing a key role in the £1.57 billion bailout package secured for the arts.
As well as serving on the Bank of England’s financial policy committee, Sharp was a member of Johnson’s board of economic advisers when he was mayor of London.
He was chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts from 2007 to 2012 – and founded the charity London Music Masters.
Sir David Clementi – the current BBC chairman – is due to step down next month. Sharp is expected to be announced as his replacement later this week.