CULLED FROM Telegraph online::
The BBC secretly awarded an executive a payoff of around half a million pounds despite the fact he had resigned after being criticised over a documentary trailer which gave a misleading impression of the Queen.
Peter Fincham, former controller of BBC One, incorrectly informed the media that the trailer showed the Queen walking out of a photo session in 2007 “in a huff”.
Although Mr Fincham, now ITV’s director of television, was told a few hours later that the trailer misrepresented the monarch, he did not put out a statement until the next day. Consequently, many news organisations, including the BBC, incorrectly reported the Queen as “storming out” of the session.
Mr Fincham resigned three months later following criticism in a report. The BBC refused to answer at the time as to whether he had received a payoff.
The new Director-General of the BBC was last week accused of misleading Parliament after refusing to release the names of 150 former executives who were given six-figure pay-offs.
Lord Hall told MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that the Information Commissioner had advised the BBC that it could not release the identities of the managers.
However, the Information Commissioner rejected the claim, saying it had told the corporation to weigh up whether there was a “genuine public interest” in naming the individuals.
Stephen Barclay, a Conservative member of the committee, told The Times: “The BBC should not be rewarding failure with payoffs of half a million pounds,” he said. “Mr Fincham should have been dealt with through normal disciplinary processes.”
The BBC declined to comment on Mr Fincham’s payoff, saying: “The BBC does not discuss individual contracts for reasons of data protection.”
A spokesman for Mr Fincham said: “He is not in a position to comment.