UK & World News
BBC Editor 'Steps Aside' Over Savile Scandal
The Newsnight editor who dropped an investigation into claims Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused people "is stepping aside", the BBC has said.
Peter Rippon, who says he dropped the report for editorial reasons, will leave his role with "immediate effect" while an independent review into the BBC's treatment of the Savile crisis is carried out.
The corporation has also published corrections to a blog post by Mr Rippon, which had aimed to explain his decision to drop the programme's investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by the late presenter.
In a statement, the BBC described the inaccuracies as "deeply concerning".
It said: "It is apparent from information supplied by the Newsnight editor and programme team - that the explanation in a blog by the editor of his decision to drop the programme's investigation is inaccurate or incomplete in some respects."
It said, while the blog insisted Newsnight had no evidence against the BBC, there were some allegations of abusive conduct on BBC premises.
The blog also claimed all the women spoken to by the programme had contacted the police and that Newsnight had no new evidence that would have helped the police. But the BBC now says, in some cases, women had not spoken to the police and the police were not aware of all the allegations.
Prime Minister David Cameron has called the developments "disturbing", saying: "The nation is appalled, we're all appalled, by the allegations of what Jimmy Savile did and they seem to get worse by the day."
A documentary is to lift the lid on the extent to which senior managers of the corporation were aware of the Savile abuse claims.
A special edition of Panorama reveals fresh evidence about what the BBC knew of Savile's decades of child abuse and its investigation into why Newsnight spiked its probe into the scandal, sparking allegations of a cover-up.
The BBC flagship programme, which airs tonight, examines why corporation chiefs - including the director-general - gave different explanations why Newsnight was dropped and what it was about.
Mr Rippon maintains the piece - which was due to run last December - was pulled for editorial reasons, and not because the potentially damaging revelations coincided with a planned tribute to the star.
But the hour-long documentary will hear from Newsnight producer Meirion Jones and reporter Liz MacKean, who both claim they had interviewed at least four alleged victims of Savile - and confirmed with Surrey Police that officers had investigated sex abuse complaints against the Jim'll Fix It star in 2007.
The journalists say that, when they told bosses the Crown Prosecution Service did not charge Savile because of insufficient evidence, they were told to end the investigation - and the show was withdrawn.
BBC director-general George Entwistle said it would be "inappropriate" for him to comment ahead of the broadcast, as he has not yet seen the programme. The programme also calls into question Mr Entwistle's handling of the crisis in the days after it broke.
The abuse stories about Savile only fully emerged after ITV broadcast a documentary at the start of this month - sparking controversy at the BBC over losing its scoop and leading to the cover-up allegations.
John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which will take evidence from Mr Entwistle on Tuesday, said they would want to know why he did not seek more information about the Newsnight investigation.
Mr Whittingdale said the most important question was why the Newsnight segment was dropped. He told Sky News: "Whilst Panorama say there is no evidence the editor was leant on from outside, the explanations originally given look very thin today."
Panorama said it has failed to find evidence of a "BBC cover-up" over the Newsnight decision.
what do you think?
Cancel your tv license. Absolutely disgusting.
i agree this license fee should.be scrapped. i know lots who dont pay it anyway, havent for years. good luck.to them i say if they can get away with it.
What, get away with not paying a private company a tax to watch their mind controlling garbage? Ha! I would cancel mine in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the fact my partner wants to keep it for our son.
Totally agree. If they are to have a divine right to expect us to pay rather than make their own way in a free market the BBC must show some moral justification for that position, and have failed miserably- privatise them, let them sink or swim.
how many more coverups will be revealed !! what goes around comes around !!! sack the lot of them no longer squeaky clean
This is all pathetic. The man is dead, there is nothing the law can do about it and nobody else whatsoever is responsible in any way. Let it drop.
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This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
This isn't about him anymore. It's about who let it happen, who new about it and who covered it up. This can never happen again!
Steven. Until the next time.
Panorama is a BBC programme so if course they're not going to tell you the truth. Lets just wait for the police enquiry and bring to book all third that knew about it and did nothing if it turns out to be true about js
krafty is right let us leave this to the investigation and stop this media hype - they have no interest in the safety of kids only selling the stories.
Couldn't agree more, let the investigation take place, and let's get on with the real news until people are convicted of any crimes.. There's lots more to talk about...the illegal wars, the robbing mps and bankers ,corruption, from the top down.
Trial by tabloid is the way the justice system seems to work in this country.Sling a few allegations around, a few banner headlines and let the feeding frenzy commence. All to do with selling papers and nothing to do with justice but the masses fall for it every time
Mr Harrison is on the money, the whole judicial system seems to have become some sort of warped Justice Factor Vote off, coming next week...The Running Man :)
Tv licence money paying pedophiles wages......
Its a bit cold this morning, but not where Jimmy Saville is. . . He's currently in Hell being dragged over hot coals with Johnathan King. . Hows about that then Jimmy?
There is still enough room for Gary Glitter as well
Andrea might be next up. She's a keen supporter of savile.
im not a keen supporter of savile, just hate childish comments.
I think Jonathan King is still alive Stevie.
I stand corrected Valerie. .
Hi Andrea, What would you call someone who describes potential sexual abuse victims as: awful women, calling them all money grabbers, indicating its' their fault because all the girls loved jimmy in the 70's hoping they all get nothing.... Childish? Or maybe something else? Or just simply 'Andrea'.
They have already lost the trust of the viewers with their fixed competitions, now it looks like they hid a paedophile ring too! Nice to know the kind of people your licence money goes too - isn't it!
Forget about energy rises, fiddling MPs, fare dodging George, mass unemployment, focus your hate on a DEAD DJ like good little sheeple, what are they going to do? dig him up and hang him.
That's a a great idea John I'll fetch you the shovel !!!!!
I hope thats nothing like this happens to yours family. Were will all got for a cover up then see how you react.
I wouldn't have allowed my daughters anywhere near a TV studio alone when they were young, jonbailey73, would you?
This is my ny new favourite argument style. If you disagree with me - you must be a sheep! Or you're not awake like me! Lazy..
It is high time that there was an inquiry into the allegations of incest in the royal family of ancient Egypt, it makes as much sense as venting your fury at a dead man. Our dear leaders love stories such as this, it takes the spotlight off the REAL damage that they are doing to our standard of living. I even hear that Rupert Murdoch has accused the BBC of sexism! the same Murdoch that publishes half naked pictures of teenagers in his rag of a newspaper.
Ancient Egypt or a pedophile that died last year and an institution that new about it? Yeah, there exactly the same mate?????????? Are you on this planet?
talks more sense than you stephen anyday.
You aren't mate, sheep like you dance when the media jiggle your strings, if it wasn't Savile it would be Hook hand, safe hate figures to take your mind off the real stories. And I never liked Savile when he was alive and kicking, any friend of Thatcher's is an enemy of mine, but a dead man cannot be punished or refute claims of wrong doing in a court of law.
8 dislikes Andrea, says it all. oh and it's Steven not "Stephen"
John and Andrea, the terrible two-some!
Some peaple seem to have lost plot here,this investigation isnt about whether savile is guilty or not but how he got away with it and who else might have aided and abetted and whose else is impicated.he could have belonged to a peadophile ring for all we know.an investigation hopefully will clarify this so it doesnt happen again.
Not surprised they're in crisis! An eye for money rather than integrity....Wonder how many will resign before they're found out?
From past experience - none.
Perhaps they will just "step aside" Jasmin..... have you ever heard anything more disgusting? They should be sacked.
If true the BBC are no better than Rupert Murdoch and his band of people. License fees were pay should now be spent on somthing worth while by sacking all involved and handing them over to the Police to be dealt. They are no better than Savile himself.
This is a report in the sun newspaper.the truth is the bbc were aware of gossip.and this is what this report is,until the police and bbc have concluded their investigations.i dont think anyone knew the truth about what was going on except possibly other peados.i dont find it a councidence that savile visited. the childrens home in jersey
Surprise surprise they have finally realised they can do nothing to Saville so the witch hunt moves on to those who suspected but did nothing. The 70's and 80's were littered with celebrities and rock bands etc who all had young female groupies following them round and who were only to happy to be invited back stage or into the green room. And all with the tacit approval of those organisaing the event. This is going to get very messy if properl & fully investigated
Does it make it right that everyone was at it?
Dave, what about the bed ridden invalid that he assaulted, was she 'invited backstage' ?
I would say again a lot of those girls knew exactly what they were doing
It's been apparent for many years that the higher up the social scale a person is, and the greater the salary, the less capable they are of doing the job they are grossly overpaid to do.
I agree with John there is no way I would have allowed my two daughters or my son anywhere a tv studio alone at any age and yes I pay my tv licence and vote tory and very proud of that
We dont need to know who you vote for,on this comments page.
Don`t cancel your TV Licence, it is against the law, unless you are gonna make the decision to watch CATCH UP TV only. Instead, renew your TV Licence or go out and purchase a new first time one as the old one expires, and as Capita/BBC are only interested in the fact that a household is covered, simply change the name of the licence holder to MR. JAMES SAVILE OBE, job done. I'll be here all week for more consumer advice:)
Did I get thumbs down for my views or being a Tory voter and proud of it.if it's the latter boring if we all had the same views very sad people
Some of you are so naive
Next year's "Children In Need" is gonna prove a hard act for Gaby Roslin and Lenny Henry to pull off. Look away now, Pudsey:)
According to diane i might be nieve but i do hope pudseys not involved.