George Entwistle pay-off terms revealed

Lord Patten: ''I didn't try to argue him out of it because I think he'd made his mind up''

Former BBC director general George Entwistle will receive one year's salary, worth £450,000, as part of a pay-off deal, the BBC Trust has said.

He quit on Saturday after a Newsnight report led to a former Tory treasurer being wrongly accused of child abuse.

Acting director general Tim Davie has urged senior corporation managers to "pull together" in the BBC's interests.

The BBC Trust said it "looked forward" to Mr Davie setting out his initial plans on Monday.

Speaking earlier, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said a radical, structural overhaul" of the corporation is now necessary.

He has said a new director general would be chosen within weeks.

'Swift resolution'

In a statement regarding the director general's departure settlement, a BBC Trust spokesman said: "The BBC reached a consensual termination agreement with George Entwistle last night and agreed to pay him 12 months pay, in lieu of notice.

"This reflects the fact that he will continue to help on BBC business, most specifically the two ongoing inquiries."

The BBC's Norman Smith says it is understood the decision to give him a full year's salary was taken on Saturday night in order to reach a swift resolution to his departure.

Tim Davie arriving at BBC New Broadcasting House on 11 November 2012 Tim Davie was appointed acting director general immediately after Mr Entwistle's resignation

Reacting to details of Mr Entwistle's pay-out settlement, John Whittingdale - who chairs the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee - said his "immediate reaction" was that "it cannot be justified".

"I think almost everybody hearing this news will say 'how can somebody who has had to leave in these circumstances, as a result of a serious failure, nevertheless get a whole year's salary'", he said.

Our correspondent reports that the acting director general has urged senior managers on to "show leadership to your teams by remaining visible, listening and engaging with them."

In an email to senior executives on Sunday evening, he said staff would be feeling "sad and shocked" by the crisis, adding Mr Entwistle's decision to resign was "honourable" and "he will be missed".

The BBC Trust said, on Sunday night, that it had had a discussion with Mr Davie on Sunday and was "looking forward" to him setting out his plans on Monday for dealing with some of the issues arising from the 2 November Newsnight broadcast "as a first step in restoring public confidence".

Before his departure, Mr Entwistle had commissioned a report from BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie into what happened with the Newsnight investigation.

Earlier, Mr Davie held an hour-long meeting with members of the BBC Trust, during which Mr MacQuarrie's report is understood to have been discussed.

On 2 November Newsnight reported abuse victim Steve Messham's claims against a leading 1980s Tory politician being an abuser in north Wales, but he withdrew his accusation a week later, saying he had been mistaken.

Lord McAlpine, although not named on Newsnight, was identified on the internet as the subject of the allegations. He said the claims were "wholly false and seriously defamatory".

The BBC issued an unreserved apology for the Newsnight report on Friday evening.

More on This Story

More UK stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.