The BBC’s chair Richard Sharp has been facing questions from MPs over his appointment.
The meeting follows a report in The Sunday Times last month that he was involved in helping to arrange a guarantor on a loan of up to £800,000 for former prime minister Boris Johnson prior to his appointment.
Both men have denied any wrongdoing. Sharp said he “simply connected”: people and there was no conflict of interest.
Speaking in front of the DCMS Select committee, Sharp said he had “no knowledge” of the loan, and that he had no interest “until I got a call from a journalist”.
He insisted he was subjected to a “very rigorous interview process”, adding he needed to be considered appointable and recommendable. “I was appointed on merit,” said Sharp.
“I regret the distraction this has caused and am certainly disturbed by the fact that all the tremendous things the BBC is doing should in any way be overshadowed by this,” he added.
Sharp has already asked the BBC’s board to investigate conflicts of interest regarding his appointment to the role.