BBC severance: Lord Patten accused of 'misleading Parliament' as HR boss admits she 'made mistake' to MPs

War of words continues over fears the BBC Trust has wasted licence fee payers' money by over-compensating departing executives

The BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has mislead Parliament with “untruths and inaccuracies” over pay-off deals for top executives leaving the corporation, according to former director general Mark Thompson.

In written evidence to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of MPs, Mr Thompson accused Lord Patten and BBC Trustee Anthony Fry of approving payments that cost the licence fee payer £2 million more than was necessary under their contracts.

Mr Thompson said the Trust had “insinuated” to the Commons that they were “kept in the dark” over the excessive payments.

Former deputy director general Mark Byford departed with a total pay-out of £949,000, while former marketing chief Sharon Baylay’s settlement was worth £394,638.

Mr Thompson said: “In fact, Lord Patten was himself fully briefed, in writing as well as orally, about the Mark Byford and Sharon Baylay settlements soon after his arrival as chairman in 2011.”

He concluded that the evidence given to the NAO and PAC was “inadequate, and in some important instances, very misleading testimony”.

The scathing criticism came as the BBC’s under-fire HR boss Lucy Adams said she had made a mistake in her own evidence to the PAC.

Ms Adams has already announced that she will be leaving the BBC, and told MPs that she had not seen a document which detailed the Byford and Baylay pay-offs.

Yet today she admitted she had actually helped write it.

She submitted new evidence to the Commons committee which said: “During the 10 July hearing, the chair referred to a memo of 7 October 2010.

“At the time, I was not clear which document the chair was referring to and so I could not recollect with absolute certainty whether or not I had seen the memo sent by Mark Thompson to the then chairman on 7 October 2010.

“Since the hearing, I am now clear which document was being referred to and I can confirm that I was involved in drafting that memo, although I had not seen the final note sent to the Trust until recently.”

Ms Adams and Mr Thompson are both due to appear once more before the PAC on Monday, as is Lord Patten.

Speaking to reporters today, the Trust chairman said he had “no concerns” over the allegations made by the former director general, and added that he is “looking forward” to giving his own evidence at the hearing.

The Trust issued its own statement, which said: “We reject the suggestion that Lord Patten and Anthony Fry misled the PAC.

“We completely disagree with Mark Thompson's analysis, much of which is unsubstantiated - in particular the suggestion that Lord Patten was given a full and formal briefing on the exact terms of Mark Byford's departure, which in any event took place before the current chairman's arrival at the Trust.

“We look forward to answering fully and openly further questions at Monday's PAC hearing.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer the industry can flesh out an existence
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive - West London - £35,000

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A luxury fashion retailer based in W...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer / Front-End Designer - City of London

£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Junior PHP Web Developer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable