Labour is calling for an investigation into the BBC appointment process for its chair following “sleaze” claims.

The man currently in the top role, Richard Sharp, allegedly helped Boris Johnson secure a loan guarantee before being recommended for the job.

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell has written to the Commissioner for Public Appointments, William Shawcross CVO, asking him to investigate the appointment process.

Labour has already reported Mr Johnson to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards following the report in the Sunday Times, which his spokesperson denied as “rubbish”.

Mr Sharp has also denied a conflict of interest, but calls for clarity are growing after Foreign Secretary James Cleverly evaded answers on the story during media rounds this morning.

Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, told Sky News there should be an independent investigation into the claims – either through a parliamentary select committee or by the prime minister’s new ethics adviserso the facts can be “completely established”.

Ms Powell said the BBC is meant to be impartial and “it is vital that the public and parliament can have trust in the process and it is free from any real or perceived conflict of interest”.

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