BBC's head of HR admits making evidence mistake

The BBC's outgoing HR director, Lucy Adams.
The BBC's outgoing HR director, Lucy Adams. Photo: Laura Harding/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The BBC's outgoing head of HR, Lucy Adams, has admitted making a mistake in her evidence to a committee of MPs investigating excessive payoffs to senior staff at the corporation.

ITV News' Political Correspondent Claire Stewart reports:

Ms Adams, who announced last month she was leaving the BBC, initially told MPs she had not seen a note detailing plans for payoffs to deputy director general Mark Byford and marketing boss Sharon Baylay.

However, the under-fire HR boss has since admitted that she was involving in writing the memo. She said in a written statement released today:

Lucy Adams said she was not clear which document MPs were referring to at a hearing in July.
Lucy Adams said she was not clear which document MPs were referring to at a hearing in July.

Her remarks came after former director general Mark Thompson accused BBC Trust boss Lord Patten and trustee Anthony Fry of "fundamentally misleading" members of a parliamentary committee.

Mr Thompson, who left the BBC to become chief executive at the New York Times, made the attack on his former colleagues in a written statement submitted to the Public Accounts Committee ahead of a hearing on Monday.

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson.
Former BBC director general Mark Thompson. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

At their last appearance before the committee in July, Lord Patten and Mr Fry told MPs that members of the Trust were not always included in the decision-making process.

The Trust is the BBC's governing body and was set up to act in the best interests of the licence fee payers.

Mr Thompson's written evidence describes Lord Patten and Mr Fry's committee appearance as containing "important inaccuracies" and being "fundamentally misleading".

Speaking today, Lord Patten said he was "looking forward" to coming back before the committee and had "no concerns" about what Mr Thompson has said.

Ms Adams is due before the committee on Monday alongside Lord Patten, his predecessor Sir Michael Lyons, the former chairman of the BBC Executive Board Remuneration Committee Marcus Agius, Mr Thompson and Mr Fry.

Mr Thompson has said tonight: "The first questions I want to answer are ones from the MPs and to put Parliament first".

Mr Thompson said he had "made a submission" to the Public Accounts Committee and did not want to make any public statements ahead of his appearance before MPs on Monday.