This is quite a story:
Lucy Adams told MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that she didn’t know about an email concerning excessive payouts to departing BBC executives. From the BBC piece:
Ms Adams’ clarification was made before claims about her role in the payments issue were revealed yesterday by the former BBC director general Mark Thompson.
In a letter to MPs investigating the excessive pay-offs to senior executives, Mr Thompson accused the BBC Trust, which represents licence fee payers’ interests, of misleading parliament.
He said that statements by the trust’s chairman were inaccurate, information was kept from the National Audit Office and Ms Adams misled MPs over her involvement.
An attachment challenged Ms Adams’ original claim that she did not know of an email explaining the pay-offs, and appeared to show that she helped to compose it.
Ms Adams’s ‘clarification’:
She has since told the Public Accounts Committee that she did know about the email but did not recognise it from the way it was described at the hearing.
Now it’s possible Ms Adams is telling the truth, but it begs a question. Has any woman in a senior position in British business, politics, or other field, ever publicly admitted to having made a mistake, or an error of judgement? I can’t think of one offhand.
I’ve lost count of the number of instances where women who’ve been demonstrably incompetent have retained their positions – particularly in the public sector – when men in the same situation would certainly have been fired.