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Read this: Why the BBC chairman says he won't quit

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Why the BBC chairman says he won't quit…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 British thank you so much to do this interview you said in an email to staff you haven't done anything wrong but with hindsight was there an error of judgement.

I think you need to understand the circumstances, so because it has been some miserable sent a shin and cancellation and I think clarity is important so Sam Blyth who's long-standing friend of mine who have known for about 40 years ago.

Instantly is a cousin of the present prime minister.

Sam had actually read press reports and wanted to know for me whether you should support the prime minister and I said that even though his family.

I'm there he needs to be very careful.

because any support provided Prime Minister has been entirely inappropriate way and in addition the same as Canadian

So I said him but for good reason we have rules in place and everything should be done any support to be done entirely by the book and what we discussed.

What is the cabinet office in the cabinet office exists precisely to advise the Prime Minister in situations like that even if it's family so Sam asked me if I would.

Investigate with the cabinet office where they would meet him.

I was at the time working Downing Street so he can understand why do that but I could I could do that property at that time I was also had already submitted my application to be the chairs BBC so I went to have a meeting so I didn't know whether you had had at that point where you have any Direct contact with Boris Johnson about that again see Simon arrange an appointment in case I'm who's the most senior civil servant in the country and the

Kevin of secretary, I notified Boris I was going to do that as a courtesy and explain why and he actually has to that.

I went to see Simon case at that meeting explain who sounds like was that he wanted to support the prime minister that he was a cousin but nonetheless did I told Sam that ever done very very carefully if there was any support that could be done it needed to be discussed with the cabinet office and they need to be part of the process of any support whatsoever of any kind of first approached you how do you say you were already involved in the appointment process.

Why didn't you at that point just immediately say this isn't one for me.

So he asked me advice on the right way to do something would be and so I said you should meet the camera office.

So it's simple as that so obviously with all this fast with the benefit of hindsight.

I'm particular that time.

I'm out of said you know.

Do it do it yourself, but I was working in Downing Street at the time working through the pandemic as the economic advisor to support Industries and financial measures for the treasury and I was working down the street.

When you spoke to Simon case, they might be a potential conflict of interest surely.

You should have been realised you should have raised it to the appointment process if anything you needed over the compliment I raised with them at that meeting I said just to be clear.

Just reminded him that I'm in the process of applying for BBC chair and we agreed at that time that to avoid and to avoid perception of conflict.

I should be party to any discussions.

I wasn't potty training sessions go forward and hopefully as I've subsequently learnt that with minuted.

What is the note taking all that and there was a memo out with instruction to Prime Minister confirming that I wasn't to be part of any.

Discussions most people listening to that they will think well you knew there was a potential conflict of interest so why not I don't think of your meeting with the most.

What's the value of conflict is a notifiable conflict in itself.

Perception matters doesn't it I suppose that's the point is that what it looks like potentially is either cronyism or that knowing about Boris Johnson's finances actually he gave me a time when he had the opportunity to put you forward to be and that's what happened.

I knew nothing and I know nothing about Boris Johnson finances sandwich responded to press reports.

I don't know anything about Boris Johnson's finances that seen him and his family and I imagine the cable fits this meant that it looks like you were trying to sort out his finances with that didn't know what kind of support there would be no I don't know that it's at

Do you regret them not declaring at now? I made on merit or was it an anyway at the sorted and I believe somewhere and I welcome the examination by William Shawcross and as you know the Independent appointment process isn't one that is made exclusively by Downing Street because in other situations preferred candidates went recommended don't seem to be recommendable, so I'm I'm comfortable that I was appointed on merit and I'm also comfortable the result of my discussion with in case that I've ordered a conflict or potential conflict because I wasn't party to any transaction.

I think that might embarrass the government or the organisation if it came to light I'm in this is embarrassing to the BBC and potentially the government isn't it the I have you had a discussion with the cabinet secretary about value conflict and upsets and Conflict I felt comfortable and I still feel there is no good.

There is no conflict because at that stage and sticking to do with the process was followed exactly by the book and that the process started a very kind in terms of any support the same was going to provide the prime minister think you misread the select committee and the Advisory panel, because I had clarified agreed with a cuddle sexy both was had the judgement that I divide a complete out of order of sexual conflict in the BBC is making great efforts to be impartial to highlight transparency, but this looks.

The opposite of ICA tax on the BBC all the time from the media and example that social media and they attack are impartiality and I think the government to be put in place is extremely strong on impartiality have been talking about then later today at precisely because we should be judged by our output at the government is world class for the BBC and so I feel comfortable that BBC brand is strong and that I supported in that way.

Do you feel comfortable being one of the public faces of impartiality at the BBC with this hangover? You know I absolutely feel comfortable about it.

I think the 10-point plan.

We put in is meaning for the editorial operations of the editorial guidelines standards committees meaning for The Separation board from the executive functions where the director general director of news responsible for news without the interference of anybody from the board makes me comfortable so I think we systemically I work.

That's when it comes to evaluating and scrutinising of impartiality.

I'm confident that he will determine that there is a point of merit.

That's obviously for him to conduct an investigation and press.

It was a highly rigorous process to be telling part of it very tough interview a very tough closest to be part of and so I'm comfortable and there was an independent committee of people doing the interview and they're asking very searching and challenging questions of me and the other candidates and I'm sure that was funny and carefully recorded so I can be monitored and seen where the my appointment was there a merit and I'm confident it will be seen that there was the case of the time can I just ask as well, did you have a meeting with Sam Blyth and Boris Johnson and if so, where was it and when?

So, I think you're referring to a reported dinner.

Yes, yes, yes, I had a dinner with in Chequers in May or believe it may early may what I was doing what I did at that meeting was actually push hard for a CPI settlement licence fee.

I hope everybody's watching that pay licence fee V you know the financial support for the for the BBC is a paramount importance and doing that meeting as I discussed with him after I came back from that meeting ID card for CPI s was recorded the social movements and have said to me.

Do you want to come to Chequers I'm going down to dinner with without and I said yeah great.

I've never been to Chequers and Sand drag me down and we had dinner and I took a branch.

Unity to bet for the BBC so what you're saying is that was after you became BBC channel.

It was unrelated.

And so so that that was in May so there was an error in the report at by the journalist before I was appointed.

Did you talk about?

Alone alone guarantee whenever it's happening to be dying social about what I have to do is to try and get government to support the BBC that's what I was doing as we can ask him to support for the world service that's precisely what the jobs over chatting to do that and I intend to continue to do that.

We should cherish it's world-class and we need all the support we can get sleep.


I may see him from time to time but I think it's just been in Ukraine just to be clear on the timeline the process for chairman was open when you first spoke to Sam Blyth about whenever financing.

You already applied to write French me.

I had already applied to become Sharon BBC yes which is why I then raise with the cabinet secretary the that particular issue a reminder that I had applied and was in the kitchen presses and that's why we agreed what we agreed was that I should have no involvement and and I didn't understand the BBC works.

You know you're the BBC chairman responsible for upholding independence of the BBC it's a non-executive role, you'll need the board then the day today running is led by Tim Davie the director-general of yourself and editorial issues.

No, I don't I mean what we do at the Board is establish a system where the editorial guidelines standards committee oversees editorialist thanks.

I received complaints regulator and hose sopost broadcast.

Yes the pre broadcast no don't accept that you have a medal no no no, I'm not a journalist.

I have worked in the media.

That's why I have great news that is for the director-general to be accountable and director-general is account to the board for their precious.

Did you insist on being on the interview panel for the new director of news at the BBC did you appear on that panel? I was on the panel the new director of news content is also a member of the board and I'm turning the board it's it was also a board position there other board members on that panel from the nominations committee and its highly president it for that to be the case, so there's nothing untoward in bed and we have an outstanding candidate who reports to Tim Davie it was inappropriate for you to be on that.

Can I check the board?

Stepping back from this and thinking about the future in as we come to the end of this interview.

Do you really believe that you can continue in this role with this review hangover you with the perception if nothing else you may feel that you were transparent, but it doesn't look like you were transparent and this was this is at a time when transparency is that the half of what the BBC is trying to do a welcome crosses intervention because I went to meet the meat the most senior civil servants in the land and precisely to ensure due process was followed by the book I believe in providing absolutely and why didn't you just think it was alright yourself 7 with both agreed to avoid a conflict and sexual conflict is a report of a conflict in itself.

And if William Shawcross that's fine against you what next and confidently won't I'm confident the process was rigorous and as I said to you before we seen candidates are preferred by Downing Street fail at go through a processor and confident you'll find the process is rigorous as has been reported by the dcms.

Do you say to people looking at this you say here's a man? He's a former boss of Goldman Sachs of old friends advisers Boris Johnson he sits at the top of the BBC that makes the BBC Look partial to just buy outfit.

Every single day and I'll put as well close, and if we define ourselves increasingly by being impartial in the way we both represent news and and the content.

British Art thank you very much.

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