George Entwistle, the blink and you’d miss him, ex-director general of the BBC has ignored the advice of senior Conservative and Labour politicians to forfeit part of his £450k pay off in the wake of recent scandals.
The Telegraph quoted a source close to Entwistle as saying: “He is not going to give any of the money back. It’s very unlikely he will shift on this position."
Entwistle has won support internally within the BBC from those who believe he was the victim of a political and media ‘witch-hunt, notably Simon Smith, head of operations at BBC Vision.
Smith wrote a letter to the BBC’s Aria magazine stating: “In all the endless copy and comment regarding the DG’s severance pay, one important fact has either been played down or completely ignored.
“George devoted 23 years of his life to this organisation, building an exemplary career and earning the respect and devotion of everyone lucky enough to have ever worked with him. Anyone who doubts that need only to have experienced the atmosphere of sadness and disillusionment which hung over BBC Vision teams last Monday."
Smith went on to claim that Entwistle had fallen victim to the ‘ineptitude and silence’ of others, adding: “He has now lost his job and been the victim of a political and media witch-hunt, which is a damning indictment of the society in which we all now live.
“George has not been ‘rewarded for 54 days of failure’. He has been compensated for having his BBC career destroyed in full view of the entire world. In the circumstances, it is the very least he and his family deserve.
“He should now have his privacy respected and be given time to recover from an experience which no one would wish on their worst enemy, let alone a man of his intelligence, wit, vision, integrity and all-round decency."
Entwistle resigned his post after the BBC Trust threatened to fire him, taking a lump sum of £450k with him on top of an £877k pension pot.