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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most