Pandora: Expenses scandal hits the Beeb's newsroom

What's this? While BBC editors work themselves into a lather over MPs' expenses, a tale of excess from within their own ranks.

Pandora hears that rumblings of discontent are echoing across the Corporation's newsrooms, after the world news editor Jon Williams, and head of news gathering, Fran Unsworth, decided to oversee cost-cutting measures in the Washington bureau – including, apparently, several redundancies – by taking the highly economical step of flying across the Atlantic, at tax payers' expense, and personally informing the guillotine-ready staff of their individual fates.

"The purpose was to manage important staff restructuring taking place," explains a spokesman. "And to do face-to-face appraisals."

Sceptical hacks at the Beeb, however, are wondering about more recreational motives. Surely the decision couldn't have anything to do with the fact that – the very same week that the pair were due to fly over – President Obama was hosting the illustrious annual White House correspondents dinner? Pandora would never be so cynical. Incidentally, though, we gather that both Williams and Unsworth felt "obliged" to attend.

O'Leary bags some swag

A lesson in credit crunch survival at Tuesday night's Glamour Awards, courtsey of one Dermot O'Leary.

No longer facing the prospect of a well-employed summer of Big Brother, the resourceful presenter was nevertheless to be seen scrabbling under the table in search of an extra goodie bag.

"It isn't ours, but we're taking it anyway!" he boasted, when his efforts were finally rewarded.

A risqué send-off for Jacqui

In characteristically flamboyant style, Ben Westwood – the photographer son of Dame Vivienne – was to be found yesterday celebrating Jacqui Smith's departure with a glass of champagne at East London's Bodhi Gallery.

Of course, Smith and Westwood are old foes: he greeted her legislation banning "extreme pornography" by sending a parade of barely-clad chain-bound models through central London. "One down, a few to go," he cheered of the Home Secretary.

Remarkably prescient, in the event.

Jaime warms up for rock 'n' roll debut

Soon to complete that enviable showbiz trio, actress-musician-model, is Jaime Winstone, star of Kidulthood and girlfriend of Alfie Allen.

The talented sprite tells us she is to make her debut with her new band at a mystery location. Also in attendance: mumbling substance-abuser Pete(r) Doherty.

Can we expect a duet? We'll have to wait and see.

"It's in a couple of weeks' time," says a bashful Winstone. "I'm really excited about it."

Cash for crisis? Ray begs for help

Desperate measures from the Labour Party's Ray Collins ahead of today's inevitably disastrous poll.

The wipe-out fearing General Secretary has sent out a last-minute appeal to members, asking them to donate to a fund for printing anti-BNP leaflets.

Pleads Collins: "We literally have hours left... Donating £15 now lets us print an extra 1,000 leaflets."

pandora@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there