A MASSIVE 95 per cent of BBC journalists think Richard Sharp, the Tory donor installed at the head of the broadcaster during Boris Johnson’s time in Downing Street, should immediately resign, a new poll has indicated.

A survey of BBC reporters conducted by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which received more than 1000 replies, found that just 4% think he should stay on as chair of the corporation.

An unassailable 97% said that revelations around Sharp – who helped facilitate a loan of a reported £800,000 to the then prime minister Johnson – had damaged the BBC’s reputation.

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A total of 91% said the scandal had wider repercussions and had served to undermine trust in BBC journalism.

The NUJ said the poll was a “snapshot” carried out in the past week. Only NUJ members were surveyed.

The BBC said it would not comment.

Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ general secretary, said: “It’s clear that Richard Sharp has lost the dressing room. Journalists working at the BBC no longer have confidence in their chairman.

“Revelations of Sharp’s role as financial matchmaker for Boris Johnson and his decision to keep his actions under wraps have caused anger and frustration amongst NUJ members. They believe he has damaged the reputation of the BBC and undermined trust in its journalism.

“Sharp has done the unforgivable – he’s become the story, for all the wrong reasons. This is damaging the BBC, its staff and its reputation. The NUJ believes the BBC and licence fee payers deserve better.

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“This is a challenging period for the BBC. Its director-general Tim Davie and the leadership team have publicly set great store by the values of impartiality and the need to buoy up public trust. Sharp himself has repeatedly cited the critical importance of editorial standards, trust and independence – yet this whole farrago shows a willingness to apply less stringency and rigour to his own behaviour and conduct.

“This mess also reaffirms the importance of the NUJ’s longstanding policy on the BBC – that its funding mechanism and governance appointments processes must be reformed in order that they are truly independent and free from political interference or the whims of any government of the day.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stood by Sharp despite a highly-critical cross-party report by MPs finding the former banker had made “significant errors of judgment”.

Veteran broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby previously warned that Sharp acting as a go-between shortly before being put forward for the role at the head of the corporation was causing a “great deal of damage for the BBC”.

He told Newsnight: “What he should do honourably is to fall on his sword and say, in the interest of the BBC which I care about, I don’t want this to go on and on and on, I shall stand aside.”

Sharp has apologised for introducing his friend Sam Blyth, a cousin of Johnson who wanted to help the then-prime minister with his financial troubles, to the Cabinet Office.

Sunak has said he will await the outcome of the inquiry ordered by the Commissioner for Public Appointments despite mounting calls for Sharp to go.

The BBC has been approached for comment.