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MP Tracey Crouch says questions need asking about BBC MD George Entwistle payout

A Kent MP says questions need to be asked about the £450,000 payout being made to the former BBC director general George Entwistle.

The six-figure deal has triggered widespread anger and Tracey Crouch, Chatham and Aylesford MP, who has recently been appointed to the backbench culture, sport and media committee, said she was concerned about the pay-off.

She said there were questions that BBC chiefs needed even if Mr Entwistle may have been entitled contractually to some money after he quit just 55 days into his role.

"My understanding is that he is contractually entitled to two years redundanacy. If he is resigned, he is only entitled to six months.

He has been at the BBC for 20-odd years and is unlikely to work in senior management again. I appreciate this has come up after he has been in the job for 55 days but before this, he has had a wholly unblemished record."

However, she said MPs on the select committee would be quizzing BBC chiefs about how the payoff was calculated.

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"We will look at precisely how this figure was arrived at and whether it was appropriate."

As to whether it was right for Mr Entwistle to quit, she said: "I think it was inevitable when it became clear that he was not fully aware of what was going on [with  the Newsnight investigation]."

John Whittingdale, Tory chairman of the commons culture committee, said he wanted to know why the BBC Trust thinks the £450,000 payout is "appropriate".

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said the payout was "not justifiable".

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