Police rule out action over BBC payments

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Scotland Yard will take no further action over allegations linked to severance payments and benefits for senior BBC managers.

The force was looking at allegations of misconduct in a public office and fraud but announced yesterday that there was “insufficient evidence of dishonesty or criminal misconduct to begin a criminal investigation” .

Conservative MP Rob Wilson had asked the Met Police to consider an investigation after a National Audit Office (NAO) report identified cases where the BBC made payments of hundreds of thousands of pounds even though executives were not always entitled to the money.

The BBC spent £25m on severance payments for 150 high-ranking staff in a three-year period up to December, according to last month’s NAO report, and since 2005 has made payments totalling £60m to 401 senior managers.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service received allegations of misconduct in a public office and fraud in relation to severance payments and wider benefits for senior BBC managers.

“These allegations have been carefully assessed by officers from the Fraud Squad, Specialist, Organised and Economic Crime Command.

“The assessment, of available material, has concluded there is insufficient evidence of dishonesty or criminal misconduct to begin a criminal investigation, and the MPS will not be taking any further action.”

The BBC said the severance deals had produced savings of £19m per year.