Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage
It may not be all bad news for former BBC director general George Entwistle. The executive, who resigned on Saturday amid ongoing turmoil at the broadcaster, will reportedly receive a lump sum equivalent to his annual £450,000 ($714,000) salary on top of a pension pot worth £877,000 ($1.39M). The payoff comes after Entwistle spent just 54 days in the top job and at the end of 23 years with the BBC. The money was described by the BBC Trust as a reflection of his continuing involvement with various internal inquiries currently underway. Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said the payoff was “hard to justify,” according to The Guardian, but that it was for the BBC Trust to decide. But Conservative MP John Whittingdale, who chairs the select committee that grilled Entwistle last month, and who criticized his “extraordinary lack of curiosity,” says he wants to know why the BBC Trust thinks such a sizeable payout from the BBC’s publicly-funded pot is appropriate. “A lot of people would be very surprised that somebody who was in the job for such a short period of time and then had to leave in these circumstances should be walking away with £450,000 of licence fee-payers’ money,” he said, according to BBC News. Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said the payout looked like “a reward for failure.” The payout represented double the contractually required sum, which was “not justifiable” according to Harman. “George Entwistle should decline to accept any more than is required under his contract. This is not the way to restore public confidence in the BBC,” she said.
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