A BBC trustee involved in giving George Entwistle a £450,000 pay-off for resigning as director-general insisted yesterday it was the right thing to do.
Anthony Fry said Mr Entwistle had made clear he wanted a full year’s salary as a condition of resigning after just 54 days in the job – twice as much as he was entitled to under his contract and the same as he would have got for being sacked.
Mr Fry said the BBC Trust had been faced with the decision of whether to draw a line under the issue or face a protracted wrangle and industrial tribunal, which lawyers said could have resulted in Mr Entwistle receiving an additional £80,000.
Despite his “irritation” over being asked for double the pay-out to which Mr Entwistle was entitled, he told the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee he decided – and BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten agreed – it was better to accept the resignation on 10 November.
Mr Fry revealed Mr Entwistle also received a year’s Bupa medical cover, as well as up to £10,000 to cover legal fees connected with his resignation, legal expenses of up to £25,000 to help Mr Entwistle give evidence to two inquiries into the Jimmy Savile affair, and £10,000 for PR.