London: The ongoing crisis in the BBC over its ‘unjustified’ pay-off to a former executive has overshadowed the firm’s acting director-general Lord Patten’s promise to ‘get a grip’ of the problems at the broadcaster, says a report.
The approval by the BBC Trust of the 450,000 pounds pay-off to George Entwistle has had a predictably bad reception by people at the firm, and has given further ammunition to those who want Lord Patten himself to resign.
According to the BBC, it has also been criticised by senior MPs, who had earlier supported his moves to "get a grip" on the Corporation.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller echoed complaints by other MPs that it was "tough to justify" and has asked Entwistle to reflect on whether he should take it.
Lord Patten has clarified why the Trust thought it was right to pay Entwistle one year``s salary, instead of the six months`` pay-off he was thought to have been entitled to.
Originally the Trust said it was because the former director general would be continuing to work on BBC matters, including the Jimmy Savile inquiries.
That explanation didn`t impress John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, who was the first to complain that the payment was unjustified.
According to the report, when Lord Patten first became chairman of the BBC Trust, he said the high pay of senior management was a "toxic" issue, which he needed to tackle straight away.