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Employment law: BBC confirms it will pay legal fees of former head of HR

The BBC has announced that it will be paying the legal fees of its departing head of Human Resources, Lucy Adams, who is suing the National Union of Journalists for defamation, reports the BBC.

Ms Adams is suing the National Union of Journalists over claims that as head of PR at the BBC she ran a campaign of hacking into employees emails and actively encouraged staff to spy on their colleagues.

The allegations were published a day after Ms Adams revealed that she would leave her role at the BBC in March 2014.

Shortly after they were made, Adams announced that she would sue the NUJ over what she described as 'an unwarranted and very personal attack'.

The BBC has now confirmed, following a Freedom of Information Act request, that it will be supporting Ms Adams by funding the reasonable costs of her legal advice.

Her time at the BBC has faced strict analysis in recent months. In July Ms Adams was quizzed by MPs after agreeing to pay severance packages above that which was contractually necessary to departing BBC managers.

Ms Adams was also forced into an apology in September after admitting that an email she had previously claimed to know nothing about, she had in fact co-authored.

In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: "The BBC has agreed to fund the reasonable costs of Ms Adams seeking external legal advice, following serious and damaging allegations made against her in her role as the BBC's Director of Human Resources."

The disclosure has prompted criticism from some MPs who believe the corporation has not learnt lessons about profligacy with licence fee payers' money.