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Thompson: BBC knew of payoffs

The former BBC director-general Mark Thompson has hit back at claims by the BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten, insisting the corporation was aware of the scale of hefty pay-offs made to former executives.

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Patten suggests ex-BBC boss has questions to answer

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten seemed to suggest that former director-general Mark Thompson should be called to give evidence when questioned by MPs today.

Asked why he did not know some payoffs had gone beyond what was contractually needed, he told the committee: "If you call a previous director general of the BBC I will be as interested as you are why we didn't know."

Speaking about Mr Thompson's eventual successor George Entwistle, who stood down after a few weeks in the job, Lord Patten said his payoff of £450,000 was necessary to prevent a potentially larger bill if they had got bogged down in legal argument.

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