Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told Daybreak former BBC Director-General George Entwistle's £450,000 pay-off is "difficult to justify" and "difficult to explain".
"My reaction was like everybody else's", Mr Clegg said. "Mr Entwistle was offered this money, he did not need to take it and it is up to the BBC to justify, as Lord Patten sought to, why they took this decision".
Asked about calls for Lord Patten to consider his position as Trust Chairman, Mr Clegg told BBC Breakfast, "I don't think it is the time to go round claiming that X person at the BBC should be promoted or Y person should resign".
"Clearly, the BBC is in a very difficult situation and is suffering a real crisis if you like of confidence in parts of the way in which some of the journalism is done in some programmes", he added.
BBC Trust Vice-Chairman Diane Coyle agreed to outgoing Director-General George Entwistle's £450,000 pay-off while watching Strictly Come Dancing at home, The Times (£) reported.
Ms Coyle took to Twitter during the show, writing:
The BBC Trust told the newspaper Ms Coyle took a phone call from Chairman Lord Patten "during the broadcast of Strictly Come Dancing ... and then returned to watching television afterwards".
“Diane Coyle was consulted on Saturday evening as a member of the Remuneration Committee", the Trust was quoted as saying.
Labour MP Dennis Skinner has hit out at the praise given to former BBC Director-General George Entwistle from the BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten. He said:
"What type bravery and courage does it take to leave office with a million quid?"
The National Audit Office has said it will be speaking to the BBC Trust about George Entwistle's resignation package.
The Culture Secretary tells the Commons that George Entwistle's pay off is hard to justify. She suggests that the National Audit Office could look at it.
Her shadow Harriet Harman says the BBC Trust cannot justify doubling the Director-General's payout.
She says Mr Entwistle should reflect on it and take only what he is entitled to in his contract.
Referring to George Entwistle's £450,000 pay-out for stepping aside from his position of BBC Director General, Culture Secretary Maria Miller told the Commons it was "hard to justify" the payment.
She added that the National Audit Office can undertake a 'value for money review' into these issues.
Acting director general Tim Davie told ITV News that the BBC is facing a "very big crisis".
Mr Davie added that he would "not pass judgement" on whether George Entwistle deserved a £450,000 pay-off.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the BBC "have got to be able to justify" George Entwistle's £450,000 pay-off.
Lord Patten wrote to the chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, John Whittingdale, today to say that director general George Entwistle's £450,000 payoff was "justified and necessary".
In agreeing to 12 months' notice rather than six, we had in mind the following points. In the absence of George's honourable offer to resign, I would have had to speak to the Trustees about the option of termination by us (which, fortunately, was not necessary).
In these circumstances, George would have been entitled to 12 months' notice. In circumstances where we needed to conclude matters quickly and required George's ongoing co-operation in a number of very difficult and sensitive matters, including the inquiries into issues associated with (Jimmy) Savile, I concluded that a consensual resignation on these terms was clearly the better route.
– Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust
I consulted my colleagues on the Trust's remuneration committee and took legal advice. Our conclusion was that a settlement on these terms was justified and necessary.