The BBC's Enabling of Boris Johnson
News of the BBC Chairman's secret dealings with the former prime minister tells us everything we need to know about politics and media in the UK
Few politicians have more ruthlessly exploited the weaknesses of the UK’s political and media systems than Boris Johnson.
And his rise, from being treated as a semi-comic figure on Have I Got News For You, to successfully masterminding Britain’s disastrous exit from Europe and his subsequent scandalous and corrupt tenure in Downing Street, has perfectly exposed quite how deeply broken those systems are.
In today’s Sunday Times, the paper reveals that Johnson used his position as Prime Minister to secure a huge undeclared loan from a millionaire backer, with the help of the current BBC Chairman, and the apparent disregard of senior civil servants.
They report that Johnson asked Richard Sharp to help him guarantee a secret £800,000 loan from a millionaire backer, while at the same time backing Sharp for the top job at the BBC.
This arrangement continued, despite the quite obviously huge conflict of interest it created between a man soon to be a senior figure at the UK’s national broadcaster, and the Prime Minister.
It also continued with the apparent knowledge and complicity of senior civil servants, without either Downing Street, or the BBC, thinking to tell us about it.
And on the morning that news of the arrangement was finally broken, the BBC’s flagship Sunday Morning programme chose to invite Johnson’s own sister on to talk about it.