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BBC chief's £400 holiday claim

A senior BBC executive who earns a six-figure salary claimed almost £400 when his holiday was cancelled in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

Adrian Van Klaveren, who in June 2012 had a total remuneration of £193,150, claimed £387.50 for a "Cancelled holiday to return to work during Jimmy Savile issue".

A former controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, Van Klaveren left the station in December in the wake of the Pollard Report into aspects of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

He had temporarily headed the chain of command in news at the time of a bungled BBC2 Newsnight report into child abuse in North Wales, which led to Lord McAlpine mistakenly being linked to it. It led to the BBC making a financial settlement with the Tory peer. He is now in charge of the BBC coverage of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The total expenses claimed by senior BBC staff has actually risen by almost a fifth compared with this time last year. New figures show the expenses bill of £206,401 for the latest quarter for which figures are available, had gone up by 19% compared with the equivalent period a year earlier which accounted for £174,041.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The majority of these expenses are unavoidable routine costs incurred in running a major international broadcasting organisation. Whilst there will inevitably be fluctuation in spend from year to year we are mindful that we are spending public money and are working hard to keep these costs to a minimum."

The corporation has been publishing quarterly expenses for all senior managers who earn more than £150,000 in a bid to increase transparency. The rail bill has dropped by 21% in a year, and internal hospitality has decreased by 22% in the same period. The spokeswoman added: "Due to a leading editorial role dealing with exceptional circumstances Adrian was required to return early from annual leave."

The figures, which cover the last three months of last year, show that taxi fares claimed by senior bosses have also risen by 19% year on year, totalling £32,948 for the period covered by the latest expenses disclosure.

The BBC's head of Human Resources Lucy Adams, one of the BBC's highest earners on an annual salary of £320,000, claimed £792.64 on taxi fares during the period. She also claimed £446.79 as external hospitality to discuss ideas to enhance "staff engagement" at a meeting attended by eight people. The BBC's creative director Alan Yentob spent nearly £1,000 on cab fares for the period. His claims for taxis amount to £977.87.

Former chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who left the BBC in September of last year and had a salary of £307,000 for her role, had claims of £387.50 for taxis for the quarter, some of which are logged as being for October in the documents which have been published. She was given a £670,000 payoff when she left the BBC last year, a figure which drew criticism from the Public Accounts Committee which suggested that the money had been paid to "compensate" her for missing out on the director-general job.


From Belfast Telegraph