BBC's Thompson claimed for Bellagio stay

Thursday, November 12 2009, 12:06 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

BBC director general Mark Thompson claimed £647.50 on expenses for a night at the famed Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas earlier this year, it has been revealed.

The corporation today published the full list of salaries and expenses drawn by 107 senior BBC managers in an effort to foster greater transparency to licence fee payers.

Thompson stayed at the Las Vegas hotel, made famous in Hollywood movie Ocean's Eleven, on January 8 this year. On the preceding day, he spent £266.25 on a night at The Westin Bellevue in Washington. The director general further accrued a bill of £253.48 making "urgent business calls" from a hotel on January 10.

In the second quarter of this year - April to June - Thompson racked up £3,364 of expenses, including £731.10 on a return flight to Sweden. He spent around £90 using parking meters during the three months and £145 taking mini-cabs.

BBC director of future, media and technology Eric Huggers also spent two nights at the Bellagio, albeit at a cheaper room rate amounting to £722.06. Huggers further claimed for two nights at the Westin at a total cost of £609.22 and spent £469.79 on a hotel room in Barcelona on February 16.

Meanwhile, BBC director of Vision Jana Bennett, who earns a total salary package of £515,000, spent £102.76 on a single mini-cab trip in May, as part of the £513.33 she spent on taxi rides in just two months.

BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who spent £151.46 on two mini-cab trips on May 13, said: "Today's quarterly disclosure is a significant move for the BBC in our continued commitment to achieving ever greater openness and transparency to the public who pay for the BBC.

"Today's launch is a direct response to the public who have indicated that they would like more information about how the BBC is run in a way which marks a step change in openness, simplicity and accountability. We are meeting the spirit as well as the letter of the law."