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The Guardian view on Richard Sharp’s resignation: Johnson’s toxic legacy | Editorial

The Conservative party has been too involved in the debasement of public life for too long to be entrusted with its rehabilitation

The advertisement for the job of BBC chair for which Richard Sharp successfully applied in November 2020, and from which he resigned on Friday, stipulated that candidates declare any “real or perceived conflict of interest”. Care should be taken over issues that could “be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised”.

One such issue, in Mr Sharp’s case, was helping facilitate guarantees for a personal loan of up to £800,000 from a Canadian financier to Boris Johnson, then prime minister. When asked by the advisory assessment panel that gave the green light for his appointment about perceived conflicts of interest, Mr Sharp said everything had been properly declared. It had not. A report into the process, published on Friday, found that omission to be an unambiguous breach of the rules.

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