The BBC has been criticised for running up a travel bill of more than £60m over the past three years, according to the papers.

The Sun reports that the corporation has spent over £48m on flights and nearly £13m on overseas accommodation in that time – just weeks after the Beeb announced it needed to recoup a £140m budget shortfall in the next five years.

Earlier this year they came under fire for sending 437 staff to the Olympics in Beijing – 124 more people than there were in the British team.

And they were also rapped for sending 175 people to cover the US presidential election in November, compared to Sky News‘s 40 workers, and 20 from ITV News .

“The Beeb doesn’t seem to have got the message that everyone else is tightening their belts,” Shadow Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt told the paper. “Money should be spent on good programmes, not frittered away on expenses.”

However the corporation defended its actions.

“We are a global broadcaster,” said a spokesman. “We cannot bring the Olympics from Beijing, report issues like the US elections or bring natural history from around the world by simply being based in London.”