BBC chief Caroline Thomson spent £1,194 on taxis in three months

 

One of the favourites to become the next BBC director general claimed more than £1,000 in taxi fares in three months.

Figures released by the BBC show Caroline Thomson, currently the corporation's chief operating officer, claimed £1,194.92 from last October to December.

That compares to claims from the current director general Mark Thompson of £62.75 on taxis over the same period.

Ms Thomson, who is 3/1 with bookmaker Paddy Power to take the top job, is usually one of the corporation's biggest cab users and claimed £566.76 on taxis from July to September and £1,748.70 in the three-month period before.

Other claims show BBC creative director Alan Yentob claimed £1,427.71 on taxis and head of entertainment Katie Taylor claimed £36 for a "Jo Malone candle".

A BBC spokesman said: "Our expenses are down 9 per cent year on year. There will always be costs associated with running a large media organisation with bases across the UK and abroad, but we are mindful we are spending public money and will continue to work hard to keep expenditure to a minimum."

Mr Thompson will stand down in the autumn after the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.

Other contenders to replace him in the top job at Broadcasting House include George Entwistle, director of BBC Vision, and Ofcom boss Ed Richards.

Whoever takes the job will also have to take a pay cut compared to what Mr Thompson was paid after trust chairman Lord Patten made clear the present salary of £671,000 would not be offered to his successor.

PA

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