MPs have called for the BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson to take a pay cut in the current troubled economic climate.

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report also questioned why digital TV channel BBC3 was not facing the same prospect of closure as radio stations BBC Asian Network and 6 Music.

On salaries, the select committee welcomed the BBC۪s “move towards greater transparency” over staff and talent costs, but said it was “long overdue” and that the BBC had “at times appeared resistant”.

At the top levels, it said; “The reward packages of the Director General and senior management of the BBC are seen to be out of step with the current economic climate and the need for public sector pay restraint.

“The BBC must look to cutting its costs, and leadership on this should come from the top of the organisation.”

The comments came after former director general Greg Dyke said the BBC “doesn۪t have to pay its director general 800,000” and that Thompson received more than double his earnings when he was in the job.

The BBC has pledged to cut by 25% its senior management pay bill by July 2013.