Page last updated at 19:17 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Airport boss received 2m pay-off

John Parkin
Mr Parkin resigned in 2007

An airport boss at the centre of legal action over a multi-million pound bonus deal received £2m in an out-of-court settlement, company accounts reveal.

Former Newcastle Airport chief executive John Parkin received a £6m payout before he resigned in May 2007.

But the company later began legal action to claim the money back.

The company's accounts reveal Mr Parkin received £2m in a last-minute deal struck before a High Court case was to begin last October.

Mr Parkin joined Newcastle Airport in June 2002 and is credited with attracting low cost carriers like Easyjet.

But when the airport refinanced its debts, it emerged he was to receive £6m in bonus payments.

Mr Parkin was suspended by the airport in March 2007 over what were described as "certain personal contractual issues". He resigned a few weeks later.

Mr Parkin is credited with bringing budget carriers to the airport

Company accounts for 2007, released on Friday, reveal the airport managed to claw back the majority of the cash paid to Mr Parkin before the case went to court.

But they confirm he will keep £2m in the out-of-court settlement - 10 times his salary at the airport.

The estate of the airport's now deceased finance director, Lars Friis, was awarded £1.8m in the same out-of-court deal.

Peter Atkinson, Conservative MP for Hexham, has called for details to be made public of how the original bonus deal was agreed.

But the airport has said the dealings of its remuneration committee remain confidential.

A statement said: "Newcastle International Airport Ltd has today published its annual report and accounts.

"We can confirm that the accounts contain the effects of the settlement reached with the former executive directors of the company."

Mr Parkin is now chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport.

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