Rishi Sunak's old boss 'in the running' to be BBC chairman

Rishi Sunak’s old boss at Goldman Sachs ‘is in the running’ to become £160,000-a-year BBC chairman

  • Richard Sharp believed to be applying for the prestigious role at the corporation
  • The multi-millionaire Tory donor worked with the Chancellor at banking giant
  • It comes as George Osborne has pulled out of the race for the high-profile role 

Rishi Sunak’s old boss, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Conservatives, is in the running to be chairman of the BBC, it has been claimed.

Richard Sharp, a multi-millionaire who was parachuted in to oversee the Chancellor’s economic rescue package earlier this year, is applying for the £160,000-a-year role as George Osborne pulled out of the race, according to reports.

He was Mr Sunak’s superior at banking giant Goldman Sachs, where he has worked for more than two decades, and has spent the last six months as an informal adviser on the coronavirus crisis.

Richard Sharp, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Conservatives, is in the running to be chairman of the BBC, it has been claimed

Mr Sharp was the boss of Rishi Sunak at Goldman Sachs and is currently also employed as an adviser to the Chancellor

Former Chancellor Mr Osborne ruled himself out of the job, with sources claiming he would have struggled to juggle the post alongside his various other roles.

Lord Charles Moore of Etchingham, once considered the leading contender, also pulled out of the race on ‘personal’ grounds, though veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby is considering throwing his hat in the ring.

The Prime Minister, with whom Mr Sharp is also close, is understood to be in favour of appointing a Tory-supporting chairman in a bid to stop what he believes is a growing left-wing bias at the corporation, according to the Telegraph.

The job advert was posted online earlier this month with an increased salary in a bid to attract a winder range of candidates.

The prestigious role will involve maintaining the broadcaster’s independence and overseeing the function of the organisation. 

Mr Sharp, who spent six years as a member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee before leaving the post last March, has advised Boris Johnson on economic policy as well as his recent role assisting the Chancellor.

The prestigious role will involve maintaining the broadcaster’s independence and overseeing the function of the organisation

The 64-year-old boasts ‘a reputation as a sharp, independent thinker and a safe pair of hands’, according to colleagues. 

At a fundraising dinner in 2013, Mr Sharp, who is said to have amassed a fortune north of £100 million, reportedly donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Tory party. 

David Clementi, the current BBC chairman, is to step down in February. The part-time job is appointed by the Government and comes with the power to fire the director-general. 

Last month Culture secretary Oliver Dowden insisted ‘no offers have been made’ over who would step into the role.

He told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We have a formal process for them to go through so I will be launching shortly the competition for the chair of the BBC.’  

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