Luxury hotels, extravagant drinks parties and first class travel across the world – just some of the things top BBC bosses have been claiming in expenses bankrolled by licence fee payers. Guido can reveal that the exclusive circle at the top of the BBC‘s management has claimed £399,870 in expenses in the last year. Licence fee payers will be shocked at the huge number of spurious claims made by executives on six-figure salaries.
Last week the Beeb fired creative director Alan Yentob from their management board after he claimed nearly £8,000 in business class flights to Los Angeles and New York. £183,000-a-year Yentob also demanded that the licence fee payer fork out £17 for a BlackBerry charger. Some of the most eye-opening claims relate to luxury hotels booked by BBC top brass. Risk director Mike Ford, whose salary exceeds £150,000, stayed in posh Kensington hotels such as the Copthorne Tara over a hundred times in the last year. Sue Inglish might be responsible for cutting back on this year’s party conference coverage but that didn’t stop her from staying at Liverpool’s famous Liner hotel for last September’s Labour conference. £270,000-a-year BBC One controller Danny Cohen stayed in Manchester’s five-star Lowry hotel on numerous occasions, more usually frequented by Premier League footballers. Tens of thousands were spent by BBC managers on first class train travel from London to Manchester following the relocation to the north last year.
Some of the more ridiculous receipts include the deliciously ironic Vision boss Tessa Finch’s £20 eye test and news manager Phil Fearnley’s claim for a short £7 taxi ride because it was “too late at night to walk”. Liam Keelan, Zarin Patel and Roger Wright asked for almost £1,000 between them to pay for expensive leaving parties. New director general George Entwistle claimed £457 for a ticket to Labour wonk-shop IPPR’s Oxford media convention.
Remember, this is all paid for by a flat tax licence fee of which the public has no choice but to pay. This comes out of your pocket…