The BBC expressed concerns to the Government about the appointment process for a new chairman before the controversial hiring of Richard Sharp who is facing pressure to resign.

Former BBC chairman Sir David Clementi wrote to former culture secretary Oliver Dowden in October 2020 to voice concern from the corporation’s nominations committee about the recruitment process for his replacement.

The letter, first reported by Deadline, came amid reports that Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, was offered the job of chairman before an official process had begun.

Sir David Clementi
Sir David Clementi (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Sir David said in the letter: “The committee is also concerned about the appointment of my successor as chair.

“We were concerned about the very strong press reports that the Government, even before the job had been advertised, was in discussions with a preferred candidate, including a discussion about salary.”

Lord Moore later ruled himself out for personal reasons with former Goldman Sachs banker Mr Sharp taking over the role, during one of the most turbulent periods in the BBC’s history, in February 2021.

On Friday, a spokesperson from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said: “The Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments is reviewing the competition to ensure the process was run in compliance with the rules and we will await the outcome.”

Mr Sharp is facing pressure to resign amid an ongoing review after it emerged he helped former prime minister Boris Johnson secure an £800,000 loan facility.

The BBC has declined to comment.