THE UK Government has named the new acting chair of the BBC after Tory donor Richard Sharp was forced to step down due to his links to Boris Johnson.

Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens, who had been the BBC board member for Wales until the new appointment, was confirmed on Friday.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “I am pleased that Dame Elan will take up the position of acting chair of the BBC and has the unanimous support of the board.

“When she takes over, Dame Elan will provide stability in the leadership of the BBC while a process to appoint a new permanent chair is run.”

Stephens said: “It’s a huge honour to be appointed by the Secretary of State as acting chair and I am grateful to my fellow board members for putting their trust in me.

“As a board, we will champion the licence fee payer across all of the UK, ensure the BBC is a vital partner for the UK creative industries, maintain trust and drive change to make the BBC fit for a fast changing media landscape. There is much work to be done.”

Stephens, an emirtus professor at Aberystwyth University, previously chaired the Welsh language public broadcast channel S4C.

Her appointment to the top BBC role comes after Sharp, a close ally of former prime minister Johnson, was forced to resign following the publication of a report which found he had broken the corporation's code on public appointments

Sharp will not formally leave the role until Stephens takes over on June 27. 

The chair of the BBC is paid £160,000 per year.

The UK Government said that the Governance Code requires that any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years is declared. This includes holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or standing for election.

Stephens has not declared any activity. She has served as a member of the BBC's governing body since 2010. 

Stephens also serves as a commissioner with the Electoral Commission. She is part of a team of 10, which includes former SNP cabinet secretary Roseanna Cunningham, charged with overseeing the body's strategic direction.