MPs criticise Entwistle’s £450,000 BBC pay-out
MPs have criticised the decision to pay the ex director general of the BBC George Entwistle a year’s salary of £450,000 after he resigned within two months of taking up the position.
Mr Entwistle took up the job on 17th September and quit after a Newsnight report led to a former Conservative MP Lord McAlpine being wrongly accused of child abuse in children’s care homes in North Wales during the 1980s.
The victim withdrew the indictment a week later saying that he had made an error. Consequently the BBC has apologised for the Newsnight broadcast.
An inquiry into the broadcast has commenced and the acting director general Tim Davie is expected to make a response to it.
Mr Entwistle will continue to help with the inquiry into the Newsnight broadcast, and with another that is looking into allegations against Jimmy Saville.
Tory chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee John Whittingdale said: “I wouldn’t have thought that just because you have to help any inquiry into the Saville allegations you necessarily need to be paid such a large amount of money.”
The Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said: “It is not justifiable for the BBC to pay double the contractually required sum to the director on his resignation. It looks like a reward for failure. George Entwistle should decline to accept anymore than is required under his contract. This is not the way to restore public confidence in the BBC.”
The selection process for appointing a new director of the BBC has begun.