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A former Goldman Sachs (Wall Street) investment banker who donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the UK’s ruling Conservative Party has been officially named as the BBC’s new chairman, the government said on Wednesday.
The BBC board chair is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the government and comes with a £160,000 ($221,000) annual salary for three to four days’ work (sic) per week.
Richard Sharp, who was offered the role last month, will serve a four-year term, during which he will be responsible for safeguarding the state-run broadcaster’s independence.
Hardly a man of the people and, judging from the photograph, clearly one of a people quite alien to the Yeomen of England stock, Richard Sharp is the son of Eric Sharp, Baron Sharp of Grimsdyke, who was chairman of Cable & Wireless plc from 1980 to 1990. His twin sister, Dame Victoria Sharp, is president of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in England and Wales. Sharp is said to be worth £500 million.
The 65-year-old held several senior posts in his 23 years at Goldman Sachs of New York and at one point was the employer of UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, whom he has also advised in an unpaid role during the pandemic.
Sharp was also the economic adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London. He has donated more than £400,000 ($554,000) to the Conservative Party.
The ex-banker, who is reported to be a ’bipartisan’appointment to the BBC, will be tasked with leading the broadcaster through a tumultuous time.
The BBC has also been slammed for alleged diversions from its supposed impartial approach, with accusations of bias on a wide range of issues.
Action replay: ‘I worked for the BBC’s English-language outlets as an editor and senior editor for 35 years. With regard to Israel and Zionism, any questioning of BBC impartiality would attract accusations of anti-Semitism and would certainly spell the end of one’s career, no matter how privately and confidentially such criticism is conveyed.’ ~ Former senior editor for the BBC.
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