Entwistle 'wanted bigger pay-off'

Former BBC boss George Entwistle asked for more than the £450,000 he received when he resigned, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has told MPs. Lord Patten was appearing alongside acting Director-General Tim Davie.

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Lord Patten: Entwistle pay-off was 'a lot of money'

The BBC Trust Chairman Lord Chris Patten has told MPs he knew the pay-off he agreed with the short-stay Director-General George Entwistle was a "hell of a lot of money".

Mr Entwistle received a sum of £450,000 for the 54 days he spent in the job. But Lord Patten told the Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee that Mr Entwistle had asked for even more than that.

ITV News' Sejal Karia reports on Lord Patten's evidence to Parliament:

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Lord Patten hits out at 'impertinent' questions from MPs

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten became embroiled in a bizarre exchange with Conservative MP Philip Davies today which descended into talk of toilet habits.

Lord Patten
Lord Patten: Do you want to know my toilet habits? Credit: ITV News

Lord Patten was appearing in front of the culture, media and sport committee to face questions over the BBC’s handling of the Jimmy Savile case.

Davies asked Patten to provide a full itinerary of his daily work – a request that was rejected on the grounds it was “impertinent”.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies went on the attack but was rebutted. Credit: ITV News

When Davies pushed again for an answer, Patten went on the offensive.

He said: "I think you're entitled to know how much time I'm spending, I think you're entitled to put down freedom of information requests for how many days I spend in the office, or how many days I spend doing other things.

"But if you think I am going to do a diary for you in order to satisfy some populist pursuit of somebody you didn't want to run an organisation which you don't want to exist, you are kidding yourself.

"Do you want to know my toilet habits? What else do you want to know?"

Lord Patten: Entwistle payoff could be reduced

by - Former UK Editor

Lord Patten has said that some of the controversial £450,000 payoff handed to George Entwistle when he resigned as BBC director general could still be clawed back if he is found guilty of wrongdoing.

Appearing in front of the culture, media and sport committee, the BBC Trust chairman said Entwistle could be found in breach of contract by the Pollard review into the shelved Newsnight programme on Jimmy Savile.

Patten also said he took legal advice over Entwistle's big payoff as he knew he would have to defend the move to MPs.

Patten confirmed he would not be splitting up the director general and the editor-in-chief roles despite the BBC’s structure coming under repeated criticism.

George Entwistle 'asked for more than £450,000'

by - Former UK Editor

Former BBC director general George Entwistle asked for even more than the £450,000 he received when he resigned, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has told MPs.

Entwistle was given a one-year payoff despite heading the corporation for just 54 days - and it now appears that he wanted more.

Speaking in front of the culture, media and sport committee, Lord Patten said he did not want to "join in the trashing of a decent man" but sounded disappointed Entwistle had demanded the extra amount.

Patten admitted Entwistle's departure was "in his interest and the BBC's".

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Davie and Patten face questions over Savile

by - Former UK Editor
Tim Davie and Lord Patten
Tim Davie and Lord Patten face questions from MPs. Credit: ITV News

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten and BBC acting director general Tim Davie are facing questions from MPs over the corporation's response to the Jimmy Savile case.

Lord Patten said the two BBC inquiries - one into the culture and practices at the BBC and another into the shelved Newsnight programme - will clearly be expensive.

Facing the culture, media and sport committee, Lord Patten added that the Pollard report into Newsnight will be published next month and will appear in full unless there are legal redactions.

Davie said the legal costs on the Pollard investigation had so far ran to around £200,000.

Lord Patten: Entwistle's reputation 'regularly trashed'

BBC Trust Chairman Lord Chris Patten has stood up for former Director-General George Entwistle, saying his reputation has been "regularly trashed" by the media.

Speaking yesterday, Lord Patten said he was saddened Mr Entwistle was brought down by the same failings at the BBC that he had identified as problem areas.

Former BBC Director-General George Entwistle leaving his home
Former BBC Director-General George Entwistle received a £450,000 pay-out when he left Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

"It further saddens me that he is now written off by large sections of the press as some sort of hapless and inadequate figure, his reputation regularly trashed," he said, adding, "I don't remember many people saying that when we appointed him".

"The man we appointed was and remains a strong creative and editorial leader with a reputation based on 23 years of outstanding service to the BBC".

BBC Trust boss to face grilling over Entwistle pay-off

BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten will appear before MPs later today and looks set to face a grilling over former Director-General George Entwistle's £450,000 pay-off.

Lord Patten goes in front of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee alongside acting Director-General Tim Davie, who is leading the corporation until Royal Opera House chief Lord Tony Hall takes up the post in March.

BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten pictured announcing Lord Tony Hall as the next Director-General
BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten faces a grilling from MPs later today Credit: ITV News

Their appearance comes amid continuing anger at Westminster over the award of a full year's salary to Mr Entwistle after he was forced to quit after just 54 days in the job.

Mr Entwistle resigned after the BBC's Newsnight programme wrongly implicated the former Conservative Party treasurer, Lord McAlpine, in a child abuse scandal.

Today's hearing will cover both the dropped Newsnight investigation into Sir Jimmy Savile and its botched investigation into the North Wales children's home abuse scandal of the 1970s and 1980s.