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Ex-BBC chief to face MPs again within weeks over ‘misleading’ DMI evidence

By Gavriel Hollander

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson will face MPs again as early as next month after he was accused of misleading a Commons committee.

Earlier this week, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that Thompson’s 2011 evidence on the progress of the Digital Media Initiative “just wasn’t true”.

He has been recalled to a further hearing that is now likely to take place within weeks.

During his 2011 appearance, Thompson said that DMI, which was designed to digitise huge swathes BBC content, was on track to be rolled out in some parts of the country.

He has said the information was provided “in good faith” based on reports from executives.

Thompson was director general at the BBC from 2004 until he decided to step down last year. He is currently chief executive of the New York Times Company.

On Monday, PAC took evidence from senior BBC figures over the scrapping of the scheme, which cost licence fee payers almost £100 million.

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BBC trustee Anthony Fry told MPs that the failure of the project “is the most embarrassing thing I have ever seen”.

Fry added that there had been a feeling that the BBC “could walk on water” following praise for its Olympics coverage and the launch of iPlayer.

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