The BBC Trust has responded to the claims of former Director General Mark Thompson that the BBC Trust mislead Parliament about excessive payoffs to senior executives:
“This is a bizarre document.
We reject the suggestion that Lord Patten and Anthony Fry misled the PAC [Public Accounts Committee.]
We completely disagree with Mark Thompson’s analysis, much of which is unsubstantiated, in particular the suggestion that Lord Patten was given a full and formal briefing on the exact terms of Mark Byford’s departure, which in any event took place before the current Chairman’s arrival at the Trust.
– BBC TRUST
It remains the case, as noted by the NAO [National Audit Office] in its original report, both that the Trust under the Chairmanship of Sir Michael Lyons was told that these payments were within contractual terms and that the Trust did not have a role in the approval process.
The Trust has already published its own account of events, which took place well before Lord Patten’s arrival, and we look forward to answering fully and openly further questions at Monday’s PAC hearing.
For Lord Patten and Anthony Fry the overriding concern remains the best interests and good standing of the BBC.